PET Scans Predict Relapse in Patients with NHL

New research results from a large-scale study have demonstrated that positron emission tomography (PET) scans can be used to predict risk of relapse in adults undergoing allogeneic HCT for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). In this retrospective study, researchers analyzed outcomes of 336 allogeneic transplants between 2007 and 2012 that were submitted to CIBMTR (Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research). Patients ranged in age from 18-71 years, and there was no difference in median age of the PET+ and PET- cohorts: 55 vs. 54 years, respectively, (p=0.95). On multivariate analysis, PET+ status was associated with a higher risk of relapse/progression (RR: 1.76; 95% CI 1.19-2.6; p=0.004) and lower non-relapse mortality. However, PET+ status was not predictive of 3-year overall survival: 58% vs. 59% for PET+ and PET- patients, respectively (p=0.81). Because patients experienced long-term survival of nearly 60% regardless of PET status, the researchers noted that a positive PET scan should not prevent these patients from being considered for an allogeneic transplant.

Bachanova V, et al. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant