SNM: 'Scout scans' improve non-Hodgkin's lymphoma treatment

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SALT LAKE CITY—Radioimmunotherapy, in combination with PET imaging, delivers individualized treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, according to research shared at the SNM’s 57th annual meeting this week.

The study found that molecular imaging can evaluate and optimize non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma therapy with Zevalin, a front-line radioimmunotherapy drug that uses a dose of radioactive material and mimics the body’s own immune response to target and kill cancer cells while sparing nearby healthy tissues.

This investigators tested the effectiveness of the molecular imaging agent, Zr-89-Zevalin for “scout scans”—initial PET scans used for treatment planning prior to therapy—for six patients with relapsed B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma scheduled for stem-cell transplant.

Participants received PET scans after an injection of the imaging agent and again after receiving radioimmunotherapy. The imaging agent provided an accurate portrait of the biodistribution, or the likely path in the body, of a therapeutic dose of Y-90 Zevalin, without any negative impact from simultaneous injection.

The researchers reported that Zr-89-Zevalin and PET could be more effective than other imaging techniques and could lead to more effective and personalized therapy with Y-90 Zevalin.

“By using molecular imaging prior to treatment, physicians can improve the targeting of radioimmunotherapy and even allow for a larger and considerably more powerful radiation dose to the cancer without damaging surrounding healthy organs,” said lead author Nafees Rizvi, MD, department of nuclear medicine and PET research, VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam. “This allows for an individualized approach to treatments, tailoring therapies to the individual patient.”