Patients undergoing treatment for follicular lymphoma are likely to find that computed tomography (CT) scans are commonly ordered to determine response to treatment while helping doctors determine the likelihood of long-term success. New research, however, is showing that the CT might not be the best option for doing so. The positron emission tomography (PET) CT scan is now considered more effective for providing insights that can lead to better handling of this disease and its treatment.
Research findings from the pooled analysis of three separate trials were published in Lancet Haematology in late 2014. Researchers found that PET CT scans are more accurate than CT alone in not only predicting progression-free survival, but also overall survival. That means the more in-depth scan can be used to better gauge patient status and help doctors make more accurate care decisions. Inasmuch, researchers behind the analysis say this advanced scan should become the gold standard in providing patient care.
The reasons why PET-CT scans are outpacing standard CT images during the treatment of follicular lymphoma come down to the abilities this type of scan delivers. A PET-CT scan delivers the benefits of both tests rolled into one, providing doctors a more in-depth look inside the body to determine its current status. In regard to lymphoma, the PET scan “lights up,” which means active lymphoma can be easily detected to better guide current and future treatment decisions.
Patients who are undergoing treatment for follicular lymphoma will find a number of tests are routinely called for. When it is time to gauge the effectiveness of treatments, however, the PET-CT scan may deliver a more reliable result. It is important for patients to carefully discuss all treatment options and testing procedures with their health care professionals. Case-based doctors are best positioned to provide recommendations based on a patient’s unique situation.