RESTON, Va.With positron emission tomography (PET) imaging, seeing is believing: Evaluating a patients response to chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) typically involves visual interpretation of scans of cancer tumors. Researchers have found that measuring a quantitative indexone that reflects the reduction of metabolic activity after chemotherapy first beginsadds accurate information about patients responses to first-line chemotherapy, according to a study in the October issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.
In our study, we demonstrated that a quantitative assessment of therapeutic response for patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is more accurate than visual analysis alone when using the radiotracer FDG (fluorodeoxyglucose) with PET scans, said Michel Meignan, professor of nuclear medicine at Henri Mondor Hospital in Creteil, France. The ability to predict tumor response early in the course of treatment is very valuable clinically, allowing intensification of treatment in those patients who are unlikely to response to first-line chemotherapy, he added. Similarly, treatment could possibly be shortened in those patients who show a favorable response after one or two cycles of chemotherapy, and quantification also may help identify the diseases transformation from low-grade to aggressive stage, he explained. However, visual interpretation of PET scans will always be the first step of analysis and will prevail in case of difficulties to quantify images, added Meignan.
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is a fast-growing, aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the bodys lymphatic system. Although there are more than 20 types of NHL, DLBCL is the most common type, making up about 30 percent of all lymphomas. In the United States, about 63,190 people are expected to be diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2007, according to recent statistics.
Ninety-two patients with DLBCL were studied before and aft
|Contact: Maryann Verrillo|
Society of Nuclear Medicine