The role of surveillance studies in limited-stage diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) in the rituximab era has not been well defined. We sought to evaluate the use of imaging (computed tomography [CT] and positron emission tomography [PET]-CT) scans and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) in surveillance of patients with stage I to II DLBCL.A retrospective analysis was performed of patients who received definitive treatment between 2000 and 2013.One hundred sixty-two consecutive patients with stage I to II DLBCL were treated with chemotherapy +/- rituximab, radiation, or combined modality therapy. The 5-year rates of overall survival (OS) and freedom from progression (FFP) were 81.2% and 80.8%, respectively. Of the 162 patients, 124 (77%) were followed up with at least 1 surveillance PET scan beyond end-of-treatment scans; of those, 94 of 124 (76%) achieved a complete metabolic response on PET scan after completion of chemotherapy, and this was associated with superior FFP (P=.01, HR=0.3) and OS (P=.01, HR 0.3). Eighteen patients experienced relapse after initial response to therapy. Nine relapses were initially suspected by surveillance imaging studies (8 PET, 1 CT), and 9 were suspected clinically (5 by patient-reported symptoms and 4 by symptoms and physical examination). No relapses were detected by surveillance LDH. The median duration from initiation of treatment to relapse was 14.3 months among patients with relapses suspected by imaging, and 59.8 months among patients with relapses suspected clinically (P=.077). There was no significant difference in OS from date of first therapy or OS after relapse between patients whose relapse was suspected by imaging versus clinically. Thirteen of 18 patients underwent successful salvage therapy after relapse.A complete response on PET scan immediately after initial chemotherapy is associated with superior FFP and OS in stage I to II DLBCL. The use of PET scans as posttreatment surveillance is not associated with a survival advantage. LDH is not a sensitive marker for relapse. Our results argue for limiting the use of posttreatment surveillance in patients with limited-stage DLBCL.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2015.01.039
View details for PubMedID 25863757