Positron emission tomography (PET) scans are widely used in patients with lymphoma but little is known about their utility in mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). MCL patients were included from two prospective trials and one observational study at our institution. A total of 276 PET scans were performed among 52 patients. After a median follow-up of 37.5 months, the 3-year event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) were 73% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 61-85%) and 92% (95% CI 85-100%), respectively. There were 34 pretreatment PET scans, 26 interim, 28 end-of-treatment, 162 surveillance, and 26 scans at relapse or beyond. Pretreatment PETs were positive in 94%. A negative interim or end-of-therapy PET scan was not significantly associated with better EFS or OS, but no deaths were observed in patients who had a negative interim or end-of-therapy PET. Surveillance PET scans had a high false positive rate (35%) and low positive predictive value (8%). PET scans contributed to an earlier diagnosis of relapse in only two out of the 18 patients (11%) who relapsed. PET scans did not meaningfully contribute to staging or surveillance of MCL patients in this study. There was a trend toward improved survival in patients who had a negative end-of-therapy PET scan.
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