, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 127-134

Restaging with gallium scan identifies chemosensitive patients and predicts survival of poor-prognosis mediastinal Hodgkin's disease patients

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Following treatment of mediastinal Hodgkin's disease (HD), residual masses are frequent and gallium scanning has proven to be of value in the evaluation of their specificity (fibrosis or active disease). This study assessed, for relapse and survival, the predictive value of restaging gallium scan of patients with a residual mass on computed tomography scan after induction chemotherapy. Between 1/89 and 12/97, in 53 newly diagnosed HD patients with a residual mediastinal mass, a gallium scan was performed after chemotherapy (3 or 4 courses) and always before consolidative radiotherapy. Characteristics at diagnosis were: nodular sclerosis histology, 89%; bulky mediastinal disease, 79%; B-symptoms, 51%. Results: gallium scan was positive in 16 patients (30%) and negative in 37 (70%). At median follow-up period of 36 months, freedom-from-progression rate was 86% versus 19% (P<0.0001) for patients with negativevs positive gallium scans, respectively. The 5-year overall survival (OS) rate was 68% and differed significantly (P<0.0001) between negative (91%) and positive (25%) gallium scanning groups. The specificity of gallium scanning was 91% and the sensitivity 72% with a positive predictive value of 81% and a negative predictive value of 86%. Evaluation with gallium scan after induction chemotherapy identifies chemosensitive patients among those with poorprognosis mediastinal HD. Although relapse may occur in patients with negative gallium scan, a postive gallium scan is highly predictive of failure and poor outcome, and treatment should thus be modified.