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Lymphoma of the brain; what are my friend's chances?
Sep 27, 2002

A friend of mine was diagnosed with Central nervous system (CNS) Lympoma in June 2002. He was started on high dose Methotrexate every other week for 5 weeks and a resevoir was inserted under his scalp, to recieve intrathecal (into the spinal fluid) Methotrexate on the off week for another 5 weeks. After 4 treatments with the in hospital stay with high dose Methotrexate and 2 out visits for the intrathecal dose the tumor had almost all disapeared. He started having difficulty with is thinking, and some pretty unusual stories. These symptoms were not as severe as in June prior to being diagnosed but they seemed to appear and happen more frequently each day. His fluid was tested and his protien level had over doubled. The Doctor has stopped the Methotrexate therapy and now started with Rituxan followed by 3 temodar pills for five days. This is our first dose with this new therapy.What are the chances of this therapy killing the lymphoma cells in his spinal fluid? They are also planning radiation. He may also have the lymphomas in his eye. He was HIV tested and is negative.

Response from Dr. Dezube

That's quite a detail description of your friend's tumor. Some patients with lymphoma of the central nervous system do quite well. Age is an important factor; younger patients tend to better than older ones. Lymphoma of the central nervous system is a difficult disease to treat, but it can be treated. Treatment usually involves chemotherapy given systemically as well as into the spinal fluid, and/or radiation. The treatment you describes seems quite appropriate.

How do you decide what questions to answer? Do you only answer questions from patients who have HIV?
Do you have AIDS if you have non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and HIV?

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