A trial looking at PET scans for people having treatment for non Hodgkin lymphoma

Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

Cancer type:

High grade lymphoma
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma





This trial is looking at whether PET scans show doctors how well treatment is working for non Hodgkin lymphoma. You can join this trial if you are going to have chemotherapy called RCHOP21. This trial is supported by Cancer Research UK.

At the moment, doctors use CT scans before and after treatment to see if the treatment has shrunk the lymphoma, or if it has grown.

But these changes can sometimes be difficult to see. A PET scan may help with this. PET stands for 'positron emission tomography'. It is a scan that shows areas of active cancer in the body, rather than 'abnormal' areas that may be something harmless such as scar tissue.

The aim of this trial is to find out whether PET scans show doctors how well treatment is working at an earlier stage. In the future this means doctors may be able to change or stop treatment earlier if it is not working.

Who can enter

You can enter this trial if you

  • Have diffuse large B cell lymphoma and need treatment with a chemotherapy regime called RCHOP21
  • Have access to PET scanning (your doctors will be able to tell you more about this)

You cannot enter this trial if, before you start treatment, you have a PET scan that does not show any active cancer. This is called a negative PET scan.

Trial design

Everybody taking part in this study will have RCHOP21 chemotherapy.  You have cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and rituximab through a drip into a vein once every 3 weeks.  And you take prednisolone tablets once a day for 5 days every 3 weeks.  Each 3 week period is one cycle.  You have 6 cycles of this treatment.  Then you have 2 cycles of rituximab alone.  So you have 8 cycles of treatment in total.

You will also have 2 PET scans. You will have a PET scan before you start treatment, and before your 3rd cycle of chemotherapy.

When you have the PET scan you can’t have anything to eat or drink for about 6 hours beforehand. First of all, you will have an injection of a radioactive drug (tracer). The amount of radiation is very small and it shouldn’t cause any side effects. You will have the scan about 90 minutes later. The scan itself may take up to an hour and you will need to lie flat throughout this time.

You and your doctor will be told the result of the first PET scan which you have before you start treatment. The doctor will talk to you about what the scan shows. But neither you, nor your doctors will be told the result of the second PET scan, which you have before your 3rd cycle of chemotherapy. So this scan will not affect your treatment. You will also have a CT scan as part of the R-CHOP-21 trial. The doctors will use the result of the CT scan to make decisions about your treatment.

Hospital visits

If you take part in this study, you will need to come to hospital for 2 extra visits to have your PET scans.

Side effects

There is a small amount of radioactivity in the tracer injection. But this shouldn’t cause any side effects. There is more information about the side effects of RCHOP chemotherapy on CancerHelp UK.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Dr. George Mikhaeel

Supported by

Cancer Research UK
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer

Other information

This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/07/027.

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 709

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Around 1 in 5 people take part in clinical trials

3 phases of trials

Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.

Last reviewed:

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