Prognostic analysis of interim 18 F-FDG PET/CT in patients with diffuse large B cell lymphoma after one cycle versus two cycles of chemotherapy

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2019 Feb;46(2):478-488. doi: 10.1007/s00259-018-4198-6. Epub 2018 Oct 31.


Objectives: 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) is routinely used in diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) for staging, assessment of remission and recurrence, and estimation of therapeutic efficacy. In this study, we aimed to assess the role of an early interim PET/computed tomography (CT) in the evaluation of response in DLBCL.

Methods: Sixty primary DLBCL patients (31 females) were analyzed. Baseline and follow-up 18F-FDG PET/CT was performed in patients after one cycle (n = 30) and two cycles (n = 30) of chemotherapy. The ΔSUVmax% was calculated. Patients were additionally evaluated using the conventional Deauville five-point scale (D-5PS) system. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was employed to characterize the MYC gene status. We determined the optimum cutoff value of ΔSUVmax% using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis. Kaplan-Meier analysis was applied to test for the influence of prognostic values.

Results: The optimal cutoff for the prediction of treatment outcome was a ΔSUVmax% of 57% (after one cycle) and 63% (after two cycles); we could not detect a difference in accuracy with respect to a PET scan performed after one cycle and two cycles of chemotherapy (P > 0.05). The ΔSUVmax% and the D-5PS (score 5) showed the highest prognostic value compared to a score of 3 and/or 4 (both after one cycle and two cycles). No significant difference in sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, or the area of under the curve (AUC) of ΔSUVmax% and D-5PS (score 5) was observed between PETs performed after one cycle or two cycles of therapy (P > 0.05). ΔSUVmax%, D-5PS (score 5), and MYC gene rearrangement correlated significantly (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: Interim 18F-FDG PET/CT after one cycle of chemotherapy is feasible and yields similar predictive results as compared to an interim 18F-FDG PET/CT after two cycles of chemotherapy in patients suffering from DLBCL. The combination of interim 18F-FDG PET/CT with the MYC gene diagnosis might provide increased prognostic value for DLBCL.

Keywords: Deauville five-point scale; Diffuse large B cell lymphoma; Interim 18F-FDG PET/CT; MYC gene; SUVmax.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Gene Rearrangement
  • Genes, myc / genetics
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / drug therapy*
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / genetics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography*
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult


  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18