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New Guidelines For Assessing Lymphoma Treatment

An international team of cancer specialists and imaging experts has developed standardized guidelines for assessing lymphoma response to treatment//. The guidelines will provide clinicians worldwide with uniform criteria to compare and interpret clinical trials of lymphoma treatments and should facilitate the development of new therapies.

The new guidelines developed by the International Harmonization Project (IHP) build on criteria for treatment response assessment of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma published in 1999 by an international working group (IWG) of clinicians, radiologists and pathologists. Although the IWG criteria have been widely adopted by clinicians and regulatory agencies and used to approve several treatments, recent advances, including increased use of positron emission tomography (PET) scans and immunohistochemistry in lymphoma response assessment, prompted the IHP to substantially revise the criteria.

The IHP recommendations aim to standardize the parameters used in clinical trials for lymphoma and incorporate the new technologies. In addition, the revised guidelines cover all lymphomas. The recommendations appear in the Jan. 22 online issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Bruce Cheson, M.D., professor of medicine at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Hospital, is senior author of the paper and led the IHP effort.

Integration of PET represents a major change in the guidelines. Malik Juweid, M.D., associate professor of radiology at the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and a member of the UI Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, was co-chair of the IHP committee that developed the recommendations for performing and interpreting PET scans in response assessment of lymphoma. The imaging committee, which included world-renowned PET imaging experts from the United States, Europe and Australia, was co-chaired by Sigrid Stroobants from University Hospital Gasthuisberg in Le
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