Patterns of use of 18-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose positron emission tomography for initial staging of grade 1-2 follicular lymphoma and its impact on initial treatment strategy in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Outcomes database
We describe the patterns of use of 18-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) for the initial staging of patients with newly diagnosed grade 1-2 follicular lymphoma (FL) and its potential impact on treatment. Data were obtained from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Outcomes database. Patients who presented between 1 January 2001 and 30 September 2009 with newly diagnosed grade 1-2 FL, with at least 6 months of follow-up, were included. We identified 953 eligible patients and 532 (56%) underwent FDG-PET as part of initial staging. Among patients who underwent FDG-PET for initial staging, 438 (82%) received early treatment compared to 259 (61.5%) of those staged without FDG-PET (p < 0.0001). Of all patients with stage I FL (n = 100), 47% were treated with radiotherapy (RT) alone, and the choice of initial treatment strategy for stage I FL did not vary significantly by use of FDG-PET (p = 0.22). The use of FDG-PET for staging of FL is widespread and is associated with a greater proportion of patients receiving early therapy. Given the widespread use and high cost of FDG-PET, its clinical utility in stage I FL should be further evaluated.