Primary gastric lymphoma pathogenesis and treatment: what has changed over the past 10 years?

Research paper by Pier Francesco PF Ferrucci, Emanuele E Zucca

Indexed on: 13 Dec '06Published on: 13 Dec '06Published in: British Journal of Haematology


Primary gastric (PG) lymphomas are generally non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL). They represent 5% of gastric malignancies and show an apparently increasing incidence worldwide. The most common histological subtypes are diffuse large B-cell and marginal zone B-cell NHL of the mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT)-type. Pathogenesis is often related to Helicobacter pylori infection (HPI). There is still no consensus on the optimal treatment for PG lymphoma. Nowadays surgery is limited to rare cases and radiotherapy--combined or not with chemotherapy--represents an effective therapeutic option ensuring long-term, organ-salvage benefits mainly in aggressive histological subtypes. Additionally, the description of MALT lymphomas has made the situation even more complex, because antibiotics alone can induce lasting remissions in those cases associated with HPI. Consequently, a global therapeutic approach to the cure of PG-NHL has completely changed over the last 10 years: innovative, conservative options to reduce treatment toxicity, thus preventing systemic relapses, have made their appearance and are on the rise.