Real-life Experience for Integration of PET-CT in the Treatment of Hodgkin Lymphoma in Lebanon

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Abstract

Background

Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is a highly curable disease; < 80% of patients will achieve long-term survival. Positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT) has played a major role in the evaluation of both disease staging and response and has become an essential component in tailoring patients’ treatment. We report the effect of integrating PET-CT into the management of HL in Lebanon.

Patients and Methods

We analyzed the data regarding the usage of PET-CT at diagnosis, during treatment (interim PET), and at the end of treatment. We also analyzed the PET-CT findings from 2009 to 2015.

Results

The first PET-CT system was introduced in Lebanon in April 2002 but was not used for the evaluation of HL. Early in 2009, we started to incorporate PET-CT into the treatment of HL. By the end of 2009, 70% of patients were undergoing PET-CT at diagnosis and at the end of treatment. This proportion remained constant until 2013, when an increase occurred, with ≤ 94% of patients undergoing PET-CT at diagnosis. The usage of CT at diagnosis decreased significantly from 70% before 2009 to 52% after 2015. In contrast, CT usage at the end of treatment has fluctuated from 10% in 2009 to 0% in 2012, 2013, and 2014 and 11.76% in 2015.

Conclusion

Functional imaging techniques are increasing in popularity compared with anatomic imaging. The usage of PET-CT has emerged as a highly valuable staging and follow-up method in the treatment of HL 8 years after the introduction of PET in Lebanon. PET was used first to improve the staging, then to evaluate the treatment response, and, recently, to tailor therapy according to the response.

Micro-Abstract

Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is a highly curable disease. We analyzed the data regarding the usage of PET-CT at diagnosis, during treatment (interim PET), and at the end of treatment. The first PET-CT system was introduced in Lebanon in April 2002 but was not used for the evaluation of HL. The usage of PET-CT has emerged as a highly valuable staging and follow-up method in the treatment of HL 8 years after the introduction of PET in Lebanon.

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