PET prevents unnecessary radiotherapy

April 30, 2015

A negative PET scan immediately after three cycles of chemotherapy for early stage Hodgkin's lymphoma can identify patients with an excellent prognosis and avoid unnecessary additional radiation therapy, according to a UK study published on 23 April in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study found that after five years, patients with stage IA or stage IIA Hodgkin's lymphoma and a negative PET scan had had an overall survival rate without disease progression of 90.5% (N. Engl. J. Med. 372 1598). And while more patients died in the group that didn't get radiation therapy, it's believed that they will suffer fewer radiation-related side effects down the road.

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