Patients diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) have generally poor prognosis, but a minority have a longer survival. There are no markers to identify this group and no generally established prognostic index for MCL. Our objective was to assess the prognostic value of the staging FDG PET/computed tomography (CT) scan.
We retrospectively analyzed initial scans performed at three institutions on biopsy-proven, cyclin D (+) MCL patients. The association of the SUVmax of the ‘hottest focus’ with overall survival (OS) and failure-free survival (FFS) was evaluated. Receiver operating characteristic analysis of SUVmax versus survival was used to establish a cut-off point of 4.83. In addition, PET findings were compared with contrast-enhanced CT performed within 3 weeks in patients from one institution.
Both the OS and FFS for patients with SUVmax greater than 5 were significantly decreased (P<0.01 and <0.001, respectively) as compared with the patients with SUV ≤5. The 5-year OS for group with SUVmax ≤5 was 87.7% and for SUVmax greater than 5 it was 34%. For SUVmax ≤5, the median FFS was 45.3 months as compared with 10.6 months for SUVmax greater than 5. PET changed the stage as compared with CT alone in 45% of patients.
Staging FDG PET/CT is superior to CT and may be used in the future for identification of a subset of MCL patients with a better outcome than otherwise expected.