Your treatment will depend on which parts of the central nervous system (CNS) are involved. It may include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted systemic therapies
  • High-dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation
  • Cellular therapies (CAR-T)

Chemotherapy and Radiation

CNS lymphoma often responds to chemotherapy. Over half of people with primary CNS lymphoma respond well to treatment. Some people can be cured, especially younger people. However, the disease can come back five to 10 years after it is diagnosed.

Lower-dose radiation is an option to use for young people who respond well to chemotherapy. People may receive radiation when there are limited medical treatment options.


Surgery for CNS lymphoma aims to remove as much of the tumor as possible, while keeping healthy brain tissue. Depending on where your tumor is, your care team may include one or both:

  • A brain surgeon with training for surgery in the brain and skull base s
  • An eye surgeon
  • Surgery to diagnose and treat CNS lymphoma includes intricate procedures and delicate parts. Because of this, precision is very important. It helps avoid:

    • Damaging delicate parts of your eye, like the cornea, lens and retina
    • Disrupting communication between parts of your nervous system

    Even small errors during tumor surgery can affect abilities like movement, feeling and thinking.

    Your care team may use techniques like minimally invasive surgery. These surgeries use smaller cuts and special tools. They are often less risky and have a shorter recovery time.