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J Clin Oncol. 1997 Apr;15(4):1631-7.

Early restaging gallium scans predict outcome in poor-prognosis patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma treated with high-dose CHOP chemotherapy.

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  • 1Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02115, USA.



This prospective study assessed the predictive value of early restaging gallium (Ga) and computed tomographic (CT) scans in poor-prognosis patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) who were treated with high-dose cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (CHOP) chemotherapy.


Thirty newly diagnosed patients with bulky (> or = 10 cm) advanced-stage aggressive NHL were treated with a four-cycle high-dose CHOP regimen (22 patients at maximum-tolerated dose [MTD]: cyclophosphamide 4 g/m2, doxorubicin 70 mg/m2, vincristine 2 mg, and prednisone 100 mg orally for 5 days). All patients had chest/abdominal/pelvic CT scans and 10-mCi Ga scans at baseline and following two and four cycles of therapy. Scans were reviewed in a blinded manner for CT-documented rates of response and sizes of residual masses and Ga avidity of residual masses. The results of early (post-cycle 2) and final (post-cycle 4) restaging were subsequently associated with clinical outcome.


CT-documented rates of response and residual mass sizes were indistinguishable in complete responders who remained continuously disease-free (CR-Cont), complete responders who subsequently relapsed (CR-Rel), and partial responders who then progressed (PR/Prog). In marked contrast, early restaging (post-cycle 2) Ga scans accurately delineated these three categories of patients: CR-Cont 90% Ga-negative (18 of 20 patients) versus CR-Rel 25% Ga-negative (one of four patients) versus PR/Prog 0% Ga-negative (zero of six patients) (P = .000014). At a median follow-up duration of 31 months (range, 21 to 46), 94% of patients who had negative early restaging Ga scans remain free from progression (FFP), whereas only 18% of patients who had positive early restaging Ga scans remain FFP (P = .000007). Early restaging Ga scans were more predictive for FFP than final restaging Ga scans because patients who required four full cycles of therapy to become Ga-negative were more likely to develop recurrent disease.


Early restaging Ga scans delineate patients who are likely to have prolonged disease-free survival from those who fail to respond to intensive induction therapy. Patients whose tumors remain Ga-positive midway through high-dose CHOP therapy have a poor outcome and may be candidates for alternative treatment.

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