PET Scan After Two Cycles Guides Therapy For Hodgkin Lymphoma

March 9, 2016

In patients with advanced Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), a PET scan after two cycles of intensive up-front chemotherapy appears to be effective for identifying those who can avoid excessive toxicity by employing a less-intensive regimen in subsequent treatment cycles, according to a study that evaluated this strategy.

Early responders who had therapy de-escalated did not have diminished progression-free (PFS) and overall survival (OS) relative to those who remained on the intensive chemotherapy regimen.

The data support a “response-adapted strategy” that protects patients from grade 3 or higher toxicities “without impairing the disease control,” reported Olivier Casasnovas, MD, a hematologist affiliated with Hôpital Le Bocage, in Dijon, France. Presenting these data at the 2015 annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH; abstract 577), Dr. Casasnovas suggested that PET positivity after two cycles also might identify a group of patients for whom new treatment options are needed.

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