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Blood. 2012 Dec 13;120(25):4913-20. doi: 10.1182/blood-2012-03-403790. Epub 2012 Aug 28.

Interim FDG-PET in Hodgkin lymphoma: a compass for a safe navigation in clinical trials?

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  • 1Haematology Department and BMT Unit, Azienda Ospedaliera S. Croce e Carle, Via M.Coppino 26, Cuneo, Italy. gallamini.a@ospedale.cuneo.it


Despite the rewarding results achieved in the treatment of Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), concerns have been raised regarding the long-term complications induced by therapy. Hence, the current challenge is to develop a new therapeutic strategy maintaining excellent patient outcome while reducing potentially life-threatening late adverse effects. Therefore, it would be beneficial to identify chemoresistant or refractory patients early during therapy for appropriate and timely escalation of treatment. Recently, compelling data have emerged on the prognostic role of interim [18F]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) performed early during the course of treatment to predict ultimate outcome, even proving superior to conventional prognostic factors. Several ongoing prospective trials are exploring the feasibility of treatment de-escalation strategies in patients with a negative interim PET, as well as therapy escalation in advanced-stage HL patients who have a positive interim PET result. In this article, the published reports on the contribution of interim PET to the design of ongoing response-adapted clinical trials are reviewed. Moreover, some of the unresolved issues revolving around the suboptimal positive predictive value of interim PET are addressed with an emphasis on the interpretation criteria. A final remark on the appropriate use of interim PET is also provided.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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