CNS Lymphoma Center (CNSLC)

The CNS Lymphoma Center (CNSLC) at Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center is the first center of its kind in the world dedicated to providing comprehensive care and research for patients with primary or secondary CNS (central nervous system) lymphoma. With the most advanced treatment options available — including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapies, and with extensive clinical trial options — our center is uniquely qualified to treat patients with CNS lymphoma and advance the outcome of patients with these tumors.

What Is CNS Lymphoma?

CNS (central nervous system) lymphoma is an extremely rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that involves the brain and spinal cord, the primary components of your body's central nervous system.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of cancer that originates in lymphocytes, infection-fighting white blood cells that make up your immune system. In CNS lymphoma, cancerous lymphocytes can either amass in the brain and spinal cord (primary CNS lymphoma or PCNSL) or spread to the CNS from other sites of lymph tissue in the body (secondary CNS). In instances when the lymphoma originates in the eye, the disease is known as intraocular lymphoma.

Our Multidisciplinary Approach

At Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center, our multidisciplinary CNS Lymphoma Center team develops an individualized treatment plan for each patient — whether for a first-time diagnosis or for a recurrence. The Center brings together the expertise of our internationally acclaimed programs in neuro-oncology, hematologic oncology, neurology, radiation oncology, neurosurgery, neuroradiology, neuropathology, hematopathology and ophthalmology. This multidisciplinary team collaborates to develop cutting-edge, new therapies through basic and clinical research, and works together to provide seamless multidisciplinary care for each patient. The combination of physicians you see will be tailored to your specific needs.

Treatment Options

We offer the latest advances in the treatment of CNS Lymphoma. Treatment options may include:

  • Systemic therapies including chemotherapy, immunotherapy and targeted therapy
  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Bone marrow/stem cell transplant
  • Clinical trials

Support for Patients and Families

At the CNSCL, we offer comprehensive care of each patient — mind and body. We offer special support services and follow-up care designed for patients with brain tumors. Our psychosocial oncology, cancer neurology, and pain specialists can help patients manage their symptoms, including neurocognitive deficits, in order to maintain the best possible quality of life during and after treatment.

Our Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies and Healthy Living incorporates complementary therapies into traditional cancer care, helping patients to feel better by reducing the pain, stress, and anxiety caused by cancer and its treatment.

Patients and their families can also access a wide array of Dana-Farber support services, including social workers, nutritionists, resource specialists, and support groups.

Dr. Nayak on CNS Lymphoma

Lakshmi Nayak, MD, director of Central Nervous System (CNS) Lymphoma Center, explains the diagnosis and treatment of CNS Lymphoma. The CNS Lymphoma Center is dedicated to providing comprehensive care and research for patients with primary or secondary CNS Lymphoma. With the most advanced treatment options available – and with a multidisciplinary approach to care – the CNS Lymphoma Center is uniquely qualified to advance the outcome of patients with these tumors.

Exceptional Care for Patients with CNS Lymphoma

  • Multidisciplinary team approach to care based on each patient's unique situation.
  • Deep expertise in diagnosing and treating even the most complicated cases.
  • Minimally-invasive surgical techniques with faster recovery time.
  • Genetically-based personalized medicine for certain types of tumors.
  • Access to the very latest therapies, including clinical trials.
  • Timely diagnosis and treatment (appointments within five business days or less).
  • A full range of resources and treatments for symptom management.
  • Access to the entire range of expertise at two world-class medical centers — Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital.
  • Comprehensive support services for you and your family.

Services and Support


Becoming Our Patient

As a new Dana-Farber patient, find answers to questions about your first visit: what to bring, how to find us, where to park, and how to prepare.


Support Services and Amenities

We offer a wide range of services, from financial planning to creative arts to spiritual counsel, to support our patients through their cancer experiences.


How Our Patients Rate Dana-Farber

See patient satisfaction survey results for different Dana-Farber locations collected by Press Ganey, an independent company experienced in patient satisfaction surveying.