Background/Aims: An early evaluation with positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) has been demonstrated to be a valuable tool in the prediction of Hodgkin lymphoma's outcome. Herein we report a retrospective study on the outcome of Hodgkin lymphoma treated in accordance with interim FDG-PET results. Methods: 48 patients with de novo Hodgkin lymphoma were treated with 2 cycles of chemotherapy. According to the interim FDG-PET (PET2) evaluation, pre-established treatment was continued if PET2 was considered negative. Patients with a positive PET2 result underwent a salvage therapy. Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were chosen as end points. Results: PET2 scan results were negative for 37 patients and positive for 11 patients. After salvage therapy, 7/11 patients were in complete remission and 4 patients had stable disease and were considered for third-line therapy. After a median follow-up of 5.2 years, 46 patients were still alive. The 4-year PFS were 84.5 and 45.4% for PET2-negative and PET2-positive patients, respectively (p = 0.007). In multivariate analysis, PET2 scan and extranodal disease remained relevant on PFS (p = 0.001 and 0.009, respectively). No difference was seen in OS. Conclusion: Our retrospective study suggests that salvage therapy for non-responder Hodgkin lymphoma using interim FDG-PET could improve the PFS of this group of patients.

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