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ABSTRACT: PURPOSE Children with Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) routinely undergo surveillance computed tomography (CT) imaging for up to 5 years after therapy, resulting in cost and radiation exposure, without clear benefit. The objective of this study was to determine the contribution of surveillance CT, as compared with clinical findings, to detection of disease recurrence. PATIENTS AND METHODS Two hundred sixteen patients, age ≤ 21 years old, were treated on the multicenter Pediatric Oncology Group 9425 trial. Data for patients who experienced relapse were retrospectively reviewed to determine whether imaging or clinical events prompted suspicion of disease recurrence. Correlation was made to disease stage, time to recurrence, relapse site, and overall survival (OS). Results With a median follow-up time of 7.4 years, 25 (11.6%) of 216 patients had experienced a relapse, of whom 23 experienced local relapse. Median time to relapse was 7.6 months (range, 0.2 to 48.9 months). Nineteen relapses (76%) were detected based on symptoms, laboratory or physical examination findings, and two relapses (8%) were detected by imaging within the first year after therapy. Only four patients (16%) had their recurrence detected exclusively by surveillance imaging after the first year. Six deaths occurred, all in patients who experienced relapse within the first year after therapy. No patient with a recurrence after 1 year off treatment has died, regardless of how the recurrence was detected. CONCLUSION The majority of pediatric HL relapses occurred within the first year after therapy or were detected based on change in clinical status. Detecting late relapse, whether by imaging or clinical change, did not affect OS. These findings indicate that CT is overused for routine surveillance of patients with HL.
Journal of Clinical Oncology 06/2012; 30(21):2635-40. · 18.04 Impact Factor