Metabolic response monitoring early during chemotherapy may have a major impact on clinical management of patients with malignant lymphoma. In two patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (IgFDG) single-photon emission tomography (SPET) studies were performed during the first two chemotherapeutic cycles. Persisting uptake predicted treatment failure whereas a sharp reduction of 18FDG uptake was demonstrated in the case of a responsive tumour. Qualitative analysis of conventional 18FDG imaging may thus serve to identify patients with a non-responding tumour. The potential of this technique in the determination of the initial response remains to be established. Imaging with 18FDG and SPET appears promising as a more easily available methodology than 18FDG positron emission tomography.