Background: Hodgkin’s lymphoma is one of the maligant diseases with the highest rate of cure particularly if diagnosed in early stage. Nevertheless a small proportion of patients with localized stage do not respond to therapy and become chemorefractory. FDG-PET clearly showed the high predictive value in identifing patients with bad prognosis in advanced stages. The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate the prognostic value of FDG-PET in patients with localized Hodgkin’s disease.

Patients: From 2002, 122 new localized stage Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients were consecutively admitted to seven Italian hematological centers on behalf of Intergruppo Italiano Linfomi. Patients with stage I-IIA according to Ann Arbor stage, independent of presence of bulky disease, were considered for the study. FDG-PET was mandatory at baseline, after two cycles (immediately before the start of the third cycle) and at the end of therapy. We evaluated the progression free survival of patients starting from the time of diagnosis to relapse or progression of disease or last follow-up. Patients were candidate to receive 3 or 4 course of ABVD followed by involved field radiotherapy at 30 Gy, except in the cases in which physician decided to omit radiotherapy due to excess of toxicity. All patients were given the planned therapy except in case of overt progression. All patients were treated with ABVD

Results: The median age was 31 years (16–75), 63 patients were female and 59 male, 10 patients presented stage I and 112 stage II, bulky was reported in 29 patients. One-hundred and ten patients were treated with combined modality (CT+RT) and 12 patients were treated with chemotherapy alone (all with 6 cycles). One hundred and eleven patients attained CR while 11 were chemoresistent: 6 showed disease progression during CT and 5 showed an early relapse. The FDG-PET performed after two cycles (PET2) was positive in 18 patients (15%) and the FDG-PET performed at the end of therapy was positive in 12 patients. Fourteen patients showed disease progression during therapy or within 6 months after having reached CR, three patients died due to the disease. In univariate analysis negative FDG-PET performed after two cycles (p .0000), absence of bulky disease at diagnosis (.003) and the use of radiotherapy (.0006) were statistically correlated with a better progression free survival. In multivariate analysis only PET2 was independently predictive of relapse/progression probability (p .007). With a median follow-up of 29 months (range 6–79) 119 patients are alive and 108 (88%) are free from progression. The 2-yr FFS probability for PET2 negative and for PET2 positive patients were 95% and 46% respectively

Conclusion: This prospective and multicentric study confirms that FDG-PET scan performed after two courses of conventional standard dose chemotherapy was able to predict treatment outcome in early stage Hodgkin disease.

Disclosures: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

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