Patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) develop central nervous system (CNS) progression or recurrence during the course of their disease. Patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-NHL often develop CNS progression despite the use of prophylaxis. Liposomal cytarabine (DepoCyte) has shown activity in lymphomatous meningitis, but there are limited data for prophylaxis.
Between May 2006 and December 2008, a phase 2 study of intrathecal liposomal cytarabine was performed at the dose of 50 mg in 30 patients with HIV-NHL, with the aim of evaluating feasibility and activity for prophylaxis.
Liposomal cytarabine was well tolerated, with headache grade I to III being the most frequent side effect in 40% of patients. With a median follow-up of 10.5 months, only 1 (3%) patient developed a combined systemic and meningeal recurrence. The use of liposomal cytarabine allowed significant reduction of the number of lumbar injections in comparison to the standard schedules (around 50%), improving the quality of life of patients and reducing the professional exposure risk.
In this first study on prophylaxis of lymphomatous meningitis in HIV-NHL, liposomal cytarabine seems safe and active; it reduces by approximately 50% the number of lumbar punctures, and exposure risk for health staff as well. Cancer 2010. © 2010 American Cancer Society.