Reports on the outcome of patients with primary central
nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) are mainly based on
results obtained in the context of clinical trials. However,
due to poor performance status and cognitive impairment, most patients are actually treated outside clinical studies. The aim of this retrospective study was to get more insight into the outcome of HIV-negative PCNSL patients, treated between 2000-2010 in two hospitals (one academic centre and one categorical cancer centre). Fifty-two patients were identified. Eight patients were treated with corticosteroids only. Sixteen patients received high-dose methotrexate (MTX)-based chemotherapy, ten received radiotherapy and 18 patients were treated with a combination of MTX-based chemotherapy and radiotherapy. At a median follow-up of 63.1 months, the median overall survival for all patients was 24.4 months (95% CI: 11.5-39.8 months), with an event-free survival of 14 months (95% CI: 7.3-24.4 months). Causes of death were progressive PCNSL in 29 patients, MTX toxicity in four patients and epileptic seizures in one patient. These results are comparable with the outcome of prospective clinical trials in this disease, which still has a relatively poor prognosis.