Investigating prognostic factors in patients with relapsed or primary refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma (R/R cHL) is essential to optimize risk-adapted treatment strategies. We built a prognostic model using baseline quantitative 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (PET) radiomics features and clinical characteristics to predict the progression-free survival (PFS) among patients with R/R cHL treated with salvage chemotherapy followed by autologous stem cell transplantation. Metabolic tumor volume and several novel radiomics dissemination features, representing interlesional differences in distance, volume, and standard uptake value, were extracted from the baseline PET. Machine learning using backward selection and logistic regression were applied to develop and train the model on a total of 113 patients from 2 clinical trials. The model was validated on an independent external cohort of 69 patients. In addition, we validated 4 different PET segmentation methods to calculate radiomics features. We identified a subset of patients at high risk for progression with significant inferior 3-year PFS outcomes of 38.1% vs 88.4% for patients in the low-risk group in the training cohort (P < .001) and 38.5% vs 75.0% in the validation cohort (P = .015), respectively. The overall survival was also significantly better in the low-risk group (P = .022 and P < .001). We provide a formula to calculate a risk score for individual patients based on the model. In conclusion, we developed a prognostic model for PFS combining radiomics and clinical features in a large cohort of patients with R/R cHL. This model calculates a PET-based risk profile and can be applied to develop risk-stratified treatment strategies for patients with R/R cHL. These trials were registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT02280993, #NCT00255723, and #NCT01508312.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6732-6743
Number of pages12
JournalBlood advances
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Quantitative PET radiomics and clinical features can be used to build a strong prognostic model for 3-year PFS in relapsed/ refractory cHL
  • We identified a subgroup of high-risk patients with R/R cHL with inferior PFS and overall survival for whom novel therapies should be considered

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