FDG PET in response evaluation of bulky masses in paediatric Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL) patients enrolled in the Italian AIEOP-LH2004 trial

Italy AIEOP Hodgkin Lymphoma Study Group, Egesta Lopci, Maurizio Mascarin, Arnoldo Piccardo, Angelo Castello, Caterina Elia, Luca Guerra, Eugenio Borsatti, Alessandra Sala, Alessandra Todesco, Pietro Zucchetta, Piero Farruggia, Angelina Cistaro, Salvatore Buffardi, Patrizia Bertolini, Maurizio Bianchi, Maria Luisa Moleti, Feisal Bunkheila, Paolo Indolfi, Franca FagioliAlberto Garaventa, Roberta Burnelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: We present the results of an investigation of the role of FDG PET in response evaluation of bulky masses in paediatric patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL) enrolled in the Italian AIEOP-LH2004 trial. Methods: We analysed data derived from 703 patients (388 male, 315 female; mean age 13 years) with HL and enrolled in 41 different Italian centres from March 2004 to September 2012, all treated with the AIEOP-LH2004 protocol. The cohort comprised 309 patients with a bulky mass, of whom 263 were evaluated with FDG PET at baseline and after four cycles of chemotherapy. Responses were determined according to combined functional and morphological criteria. Patients were followed up for a mean period of 43 months and for each child we calculated time-to-progression (TTP) and relapse rates considering clinical monitoring, and instrumental and histological data as the reference standard. Statistical analyses were performed for FDG PET and morphological responses with respect to TTP. Multivariate analysis was used to define independent predictive factors. Results: Overall, response evaluation revealed 238 PET-negative patients (90.5%) and 25 PET-positive patients (9.5%), with a significant difference in TTP between these groups (mean TTP: 32.67 months for negative scans, 23.8 months for positive scans; p <0.0001, log-rank test). In the same cohort, computed tomography showed a complete response (CR) in 85 patients (32.3%), progressive disease (PD) in 6 patients (2.3%), and a partial response (PR) in 165 patients (62.7%), with a significant difference in TTP between patients with CR and patients with PD (31.1 months and 7.9 months, respectively; p <0.001, log-rank test). Similarly, there was a significant difference in relapse rates between PET-positive and PET-negative patients (p = 0000). In patients with PR, there was also a significant difference in TTP between PET-positive and PET-negative patients (24.6 months and 34.9 months, respectively; p <0.0001). In the multivariate analysis with correction for multiple testing, only the PET result was an independent predictive factor in both the entire cohort of patients and the subgroup showing PR on CT (p <0.01). Conclusion: After four cycles of chemotherapy, FDG PET response assessment in paediatric HL patients with a bulky mass is a good predictor of TTP and disease outcome. Moreover, in patients with a PR on CT, PET was able to differentiate those with a longer TTP. In paediatric HL patients with a bulky mass and in patients with a PR on CT, response on FDG PET was an independent predictive factor.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-106
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Volume46
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • Bulky masses
  • FDG PET
  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Interim evaluation
  • Paediatric
  • Response assessment

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