Predictive role of positron emission tomography in the outcome of patients with follicular lymphoma

Pier Luigi Zinzani, Gerardo Musuraca, Lapo Alinari, Stefano Fanti, Monica Tani, Vittorio Stefoni, Enrica Marchi, Mariapaola Fina, Cinzia Pellegrini, Paolo Castellucci, Mohsen Farsad, Michele Baccarani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the reliability of positron emission tomography (PET) in patients with follicular lymphoma (FL) after induction treatment. Patients and Methods: In all, 45 previously untreated patients with FL were studied with PET and computed tomography (CT) scans after chemotherapy induction treatment (fludarabine-containing regimens and CHOP [cyclophosphamide/doxorubicin/vincristine/prednisone] chemotherapy). Histopathologic analysis was performed when considered necessary. Results: After treatment, 4 of 5 patients (80%) who had CT-negative/PET-positive findings experienced relapse/progression, compared with only 1 of 22 patients (4.5%) in the CT-negative/PET-negative subset. Among the 18 patients with CT-positive findings, all 6 patients (100%) who had PET-positive findings experienced relapse or progression, compared with 1 of 12 patients (8.3%) who had PET-negative findings. The 2-year progression-free survival rates were 20% and 90% in the CT-negative/PET-positive and CT-positive/PET-negative subsets, respectively (P = 0.0031). During the follow-up, 2 patients, who presented a PET positivity with a negative CT scan, underwent a lymph node biopsy, which confirmed the presence of FL infiltration. Conclusion: In patients with FL, persisting PET positivity is predictive of early disease progression, because it is still highly likely that patients with PET-negative findings will ultimately progress, but this has not yet been manifested during the period of observation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-295
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Lymphoma and Myeloma
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007


  • Follow-up
  • Relapse
  • Restaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Hematology


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