Purpose: To evaluate use of gallium 67 scintigraphy early during chemotherapy to predict the outcome in patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Materials and methods: Among 118 patients, 67Ga scintigraphy was performed after one cycle of chemotherapy in 51 patients, after a median of 3.5 cycles in 97 patients, and both in 30 patients. Computed tomography (CT) was performed after a median of 3.5 cycles of treatment in 87 patients. The failure-free survival was compared between patients with positive or negative 67Ga or CT scans by using the log-rank test. Multivariate analysis helped determine the relation between 67Ga scintigraphic and CT findings and the outcome.
Results: The differences in failure-free survival between patients with positive versus negative 67Ga scans after one cycle of treatment (P < .001) and at midtreatment (P < .001) were significant. There was no statistically significant difference in failure-free survival between patients with positive versus negative CT findings during treatment. In multivariate analysis, 67Ga scintigraphy after one cycle (P < .045) and at midtreatment (P < .006) was an independent factor associated with outcome.
Conclusion: Gallium 67 scintigraphic findings after one cycle of chemotherapy and at midtreatment are predictive of outcome in patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma. CT findings are not predictive. Early 67Ga scintigraphy during chemotherapy is a good indicator of patients who may benefit from a change to a more aggressive treatment. A future study is necessary to investigate the potential effect of early change of treatment.