Central Nervous System (CNS) Lymphoma

Primary CNS lymphoma at a Glance

  • Primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the lymph tissue of the brain and/or spinal cord.
  • Having a weakened immune system may increase the risk of developing primary CNS lymphoma.
  • Primary CNS lymphoma may occur in patients who have acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

About Primary CNS lymphoma

Lymphoma is a disease in which cancer cells form in the lymph system. The lymph system is part of the immune system and is made up of the lymph, lymph vessels, lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, tonsils, and bone marrow. Lymphocytes (carried in the lymph) travel in and out of the central nervous system (CNS). It is thought that some of these lymphocytes become malignant and cause lymphoma to form in the CNS. Primary CNS lymphoma can start in the brain, spinal cord, or meninges (the layers that form the outer covering of the brain). Because the eye is so close to the brain, primary CNS lymphoma can also start in the eye, called ocular lymphoma.

Risk Factors

Anything that increases your chance of getting a disease is called a risk factor. Primary CNS lymphoma may occur in patients who have acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) or other disorders of the immune system or who have had a kidney transplant. If you have symptoms, increased risk factors or have recently been diagnosed with central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma, contact us to request an appointment with Diablo Valley Oncology’s doctors. We offer clinical trials for hematologic malignancies.