Spontaneous regression of follicular, mantle cell, and diffuse large B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphomas detected by FDG-PET imaging

Rakesh Kumar, Peeyush Bhargava, Hongming Zhuang, Jian Q. Yu, Stephen J. Schuster, Abass Alavi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Spontaneous regression of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) has been reported in low-grade tumors but is an extremely rare event in intermediate- and high-grade disease. Documentation of spontaneous regression by serial fluorodeoxyglucose- positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) imaging has not been reported in the literature. We present 3 cases of spontaneous regression, 1 each of follicular lymphoma (FL), mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), which showed spontaneous regression on serial FDG-PET imaging. All patients underwent serial whole-body FDG-PET scans 60 minutes after intravenous injection of 9-11 mCi of this radiotracer. None of them had any chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or surgery after the baseline PET scan. Spontaneous regression of disease in all 3 cases was correlated with conventional imaging and clinical course. All 3 patients had positive FDG-PET results on their baseline scan. There was complete disappearance of FDG uptake on a follow-up PET scan for the patient with follicular lymphoma. These results suggest complete regression. The patients with MCL and DLBCL both showed a significant reduction in FDG uptake on serial whole-body PET scans, suggesting partial regression in both cases. Although spontaneous regression of lymphoma is uncommon, this phenomenon can be successfully demonstrated by FDG-PET imaging. Therefore, serial PET imaging may play an important role in detecting this unusual event and may further enhance our understanding of the biologic behavior of this malignancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)685-688
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Nuclear Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
  • Follicular lymphoma
  • Mantle cell lymphoma
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Spontaneous cancer regression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Spontaneous regression of follicular, mantle cell, and diffuse large B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphomas detected by FDG-PET imaging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this