Sanctuary site central nervous system relapse-refractory DLBCL responding to nivolumab and lenalidomide.


Department of Medical and Pediatric Oncology, Kerudi Cancer Hospital, Bagalkot, Karnataka, India. Electronic address: [Email]


Despite improvement in survival in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) with the introduction of rituximab, central nervous system (CNS) relapse continues to represent a clinical challenge. In diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), the incidence of CNS relapse is only ∼5% in unselected cohorts. Immunotherapy is the treatment that either boosts the patient's own immune system or uses man-made versions of the normal parts of the immune system to kill lymphoma cells or slow their growth. We are presenting a thirty-eight year old man who, presented with neck nodes, axillary nodes, altered sensorium, abnormal body movements, unconsciousness, weight loss and, fever, with a past history of DLBCL in May 2008, treated with 6 cycles of CHOP and completed in November 2008. After 9 years in April 2018, the patient developed similar symptoms and treated with salvage chemotherapy with R-DHAP which was completed in September 2018. Post-treatment PET-CT showed partial metabolic response and we started external beam radiotherapy to initial bulky disease. After completion of radiotherapy, the patient was very reluctant for any type of therapy and went home. After one month he presented to us with persistent vomiting, abnormal body movements and, altered sensorium. On examination, his Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) was E2V3M2 and he was admitted in Intensive Care Unit. The patient was managed with mannitol, dexamethasone, antiepileptics, antibiotics and other supportive care medicines. His brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was showing multiple heterogeneously enhancing lesions with surrounding vasogenic oedema and his cerebrospinal fluid analysis was positive for malignant cells. He was managed with triple intrathecal chemotherapy with methotrexate 12 mg, Cytarabine 50 mg, and Hydrocortisone 50 mg along with other supportive care medicines, and after 4-5 days he regained consciousness and he was able to talk and understand verbal commands. In view of improvement in general condition and performance status, we started biweekly triple intra-thecal therapy, and Inj. Nivolumab 3 mg per kg q 2 weekly. From the second cycle, we started Lenalidomide 10 mg once a day for 21 days with 7 days gap along with 2 weekly nivolumab and biweekly triple IT chemotherapy. After one month his CSF analysis was negative for malignant cells. Now he is on regular treatment with weekly IT chemotherapy, 2 weekly nivolumab and 3 weeks on and one week off lenalidomide. After 2 months of treatment, his MRI Brain was showing. At the time of submission of this article, he has completed the fifth cycle of immunotherapy and two cycles of lenalidomide. He was able to manage his daily ADL and able to walk with a stick. The patient tolerated immunotherapy, triple IT therapy and lenalidomide very well without much intolerable side effects. Therefore, we concluded that nivolumab and lenalidomide was well tolerated and exhibited antitumor activity in extensively pretreated patients with relapsed or refractory sanctuary site CNS B- cell lymphomas. Additional studies of Nivolumab and lenalidomide in these diseases are ongoing.


Chemotherapy,Diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL),Imaging,Immune check points,Immunotherapy,Nivolumab,Sanctuary site,

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