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Cancer. 1989 Mar 15;63(6):1101-7.

Primary central nervous system lymphoma in AIDS. Results of radiation therapy.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles.


Primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma is one of the clinical presentations of the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Ten patients had biopsy-proven high-grade lymphomas that were confirmed by further staging as limited to the CNS. All ten patients received cranial irradiation (total dose, 2200 to 5000 cGy). Six patients demonstrated complete response (CR) of the intracranial masses at the time of repeat computed tomography (CT) scan, whereas one attained a partial response (PR). Two of the CR patients died of multiple opportunistic infections, two experienced relapse of lymphoma, and died at 7 and 16 months from diagnosis, and two were alive without evidence of disease at 8 and 14 months from diagnosis. The median survival of the whole group was 5.5 months (range, 2 to 16 months). Patients with AIDS-related primary CNS lymphoma may respond to radiation treatment; however, response duration is usually short, and survival is influenced by refractory disease or systemic opportunistic infections.

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