Key Points

  • A new CNS-PINK model was developed and demonstrated strong ability to predict a CNS relapse in patients with ENKTL.

  • The ability of S-ID-MTX to prevent CNS events in high-risk CNS-PINK patients should be verified by further studies.

Abstract

Because non–anthracycline-based chemotherapy with l-asparaginase has improved survival outcomes in patients with extranodal natural killer/T-cell lymphoma (ENKTL), the incidence of central nerve system (CNS) relapse can be different when compared with that in previous reports. In this research, we sought to identify the incidence of and predictors for CNS relapse and to evaluate the necessity of CNS prophylaxis with intermediate-dose methotrexate (ID-MTX). The records of 399 patients in the training cohort and 253 patients in the validation cohort with ENKTL who received non-anthracycline–based chemotherapy were reviewed. Patients were divided into 2 groups according to whether the chemotherapy regimen included ID-MTX above 2 g/m2. A new central nervous system-prognostic index of natural killer (CNS-PINK) model was developed using 1-point powerful predictors of CNS relapse (PINK; hazard ratio [HR], 2.908; P = .030 and extranodal involvement [≥2]; HR, 4.161; P = .001) and was calculated as a sum of scores. The high-risk group of CNS-PINK was defined as 2 points. The cumulative incidence of CNS relapse was different between the CNS-PINK risk groups in the training (P < .001) and validation (P = .038) cohorts. Patients in the high-risk CNS-PINK group who were treated with SMILE or SMILE-like regimens with ID-MTX (S-ID-MTX) displayed a lower incidence rate of CNS relapse than did those who received other regimens without ID-MTX in the training cohort (P = .029). The CNS-PINK was demonstrated its strong predictability of CNS relapse in ENKTL patients. The effectiveness of S-ID-MTX in preventing CNS events in high-risk CNS-PINK patients should be verified in future studies.

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