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Ann Oncol. 2011 Apr;22(4):910-5. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdq549. Epub 2010 Oct 15.

End-of-treatment but not interim PET scan predicts outcome in nonbulky limited-stage Hodgkin's lymphoma.

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  • 1Center for Lymphoma, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston, MA 02114, USA.



Early interim positron emission tomography (PET) scans appear powerfully predictive of outcome in Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL), particularly in advanced-stage disease where it has been predominantly studied. The prognostic value of interim PET in limited-stage patients with nonbulky disease has not been well established.


Ninety-six patients with nonbulky limited-stage HL were identified who had interim and end-of-treatment PET scans. Response rate, overall survival (OS), and progression-free survival (PFS) were calculated.


Four-year PFS and OS for the entire cohort were 88% and 97%, respectively. Interim PET did not predict outcome, with PFS in positive and negative patients 87% versus 91% (P=0.57), respectively. End-of-treatment PET result was predictive of outcome, with PFS of 94% in end PET-negative patients versus 54% in end PET-positive patients (P<0.0001). Four-year OS was 100% in end PET-negative patients and 84% in end PET-positive patients (P<0.0001).


Interim PET scans were not predictive of outcome, compared with scans carried out at completion of therapy. End-of-treatment PET was highly predictive of PFS and OS, regardless of interim PET result. In this low-risk patient population, even patients with interim positive PET scans show a favorable prognosis.

© The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology.

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