How is therapeutic response assessed in Hodgkin lymphoma (Hodgkin disease)?

Updated: Sep 12, 2018
  • Author: Bradley W Lash, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Patients are assessed for response in various ways. Prior to each cycle of therapy, the patient is evaluated by a clinician who performs a history and physical examination. In addition, laboratory studies are usually obtained. In general, a CT scan is performed midway through the planned treatment to assess for response (particularly if there are no peripheral lesions that are assessable by physical examination).

Mid-treatment PET or combined PET/CT scans are increasingly used to help guide therapy. The current literature supports the use of interim PET or PET/CT scanning to provide prognostic information at any stage and to adapt therapy in advanced Hodgkin lymphoma. [43, 44, 45]

Guidelines recommend obtaining PET scans at least 6-8 weeks after completion of therapy. Some expert societies recommend waiting 8-12 weeks [36] because of the high-rate of false-positive scans. [46] If a scan is obtained, any positive result should lead to performance of a biopsy to confirm residual disease prior to altering therapy. [47, 36]

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