You are here
Utility of post-therapy surveillance scans in DLBCL.
Abstracts that were granted an exception in accordance with ASCO's Conflict of Interest Policy are designated with a caret symbol (^).
Background: Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is an aggressive lymphoma. The optimal follow-up strategy for patients (pts) in remission is not clear. The goal of this study is to determine the utility of surveillance scans in a large, prospective, multi-institutional cohort of DLBCL pts. Methods: Patients were enrolled in the University of Iowa/Mayo Clinic SPORE Molecular Epidemiology Resource (MER), a prospective cohort of newly diagnosed lymphoma pts. All pts were followed for events including relapse, re-treatment, and death with events verified by medical records. Patients eligible for this study had biopsy proven DLBCL and were treated with anthracycline based immunochemotherapy (IC). Initial and post-treatment management was per treating physician. Medical records were re-reviewed in pts with events for clinical details at relapse and relationship to planned follow-up visits and surveillance scans. Results: 644 pts with DLBCL treated with IC were enrolled in MER from 2002-2009. Median age was 63 years (range 18-92), 54% were men, and median f/u was 59 months (range 8-116). 537 pts entered post-treatment observation; 109 (20%) of the 537 pts relapsed and 41 died from other causes. 42% of relapses were in the first 12 months following diagnosis, 27% between 12-24 months, and 31% >24 months. In the 109 who relapsed, 62% of pts (62/100, 9 unknown) presented to their physician earlier than a planned follow-up visit due to symptoms. At the time of relapse, 68% were symptomatic, 42% of pts had abnormal physical exam, and 55% had elevated LDH; 87% of pts had ≥1 of these features. Of the 38 pts with relapse detected at a planned visit, 26 had clinical features of relapse and 12 pts had relapse detected solely by planned surveillance scan; 4 pts had relapse of low-grade or other subtype and 8 had DLBCL relapse (4 of whom had equivocal/positive PET at the end of IC). Thus, surveillance scanning detected DLBCL relapse prior to clinical manifestations in only 8/537 pts (1.5%) observed post DLBCL therapy. Conclusions: The vast majority of DLBCL relapses occur outside of planned follow-up visits and are accompanied by symptoms, physical exam, or laboratory abnormalities. Routine surveillance scans post-therapy add little to detection of DLBCL relapse.