European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM) Focus 4 consensus recommendations: molecular imaging and therapy in haematological tumours

Given the paucity of high-certainty evidence, and differences in opinion on the use of nuclear medicine for hematological malignancies, we embarked on a consensus process involving key experts in this area. We aimed to assess consensus within a panel of experts on issues related to patient eligibility, imaging techniques, staging and response assessment, follow-up, and treatment decision-making, and to provide interim guidance by our expert consensus. We used a three-stage consensus process. First, we systematically reviewed and appraised the quality of existing evidence. Second, we generated a list of 153 statements based on the literature review to be agreed or disagreed with, with an additional statement added after the first round. Third, the 154 statements were scored by a panel of 26 experts purposively sampled from authors of published research on haematological tumours on a 1 (strongly disagree) to 9 (strongly agree) Likert scale in a two-round electronic Delphi review. The RAND and University of California Los Angeles appropriateness method was used for analysis. Between one and 14 systematic reviews were identified on each topic. All were rated as low to moderate quality. After two rounds of voting, there was consensus on 139 (90%) of 154 of the statements. There was consensus on most statements concerning the use of PET in non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin lymphoma. In multiple myeloma, more studies are required to define the optimal sequence for treatment assessment. Furthermore, nuclear medicine physicians and haematologists are awaiting consistent literature to introduce volumetric parameters, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and radiomics into routine practice.

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