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.