The incidence of primary gastric lymphoma in Italy is considerably higher than that observed in the rest of Europe. It is widely accepted that gastric B-cell, low-grade mucosal-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma is caused by specific host-bacterial interactions that occur during Helicobacter pylori infection. This review examines recent findings on the origins, diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of gastric MALT lymphomas. Clinical and endoscopic findings at diagnosis vary widely. In a substantial number of cases, the patient presents only vague dyspeptic symptoms or poorly defined abdominal pain with no macroscopic lesions on the gastric mucosa. Review of data from 32 trials in which a total of 1,387 MALT-lymphoma patients of the stomach were treated solely with H. pylori eradication revealed high remission rates when the disease is treated early (stage I-II1). Neoplasia confined to the submucosa, antral localization of tumors, and negativity for the API2-MALT1 translocation were associated with a high probability of remission following H. pylori eradication. When the latter approach is not sufficient, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and, in selected cases, surgery are associated with high success rates; data on the efficacy of monoclonal antibody therapy (rituximab) are still limited. Five-year survival rates are higher than 90%. Patients whose tumors have been eliminated require close, long-term endoscopic follow-up since recurrence has been reported in some cases. Broader clinical follow-up is also advisable because the incidence of other solid tumors and of cardiovascular events is reportedly increased in these patients. © 2010 Elsevier Srl. All rights reserved.
Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research
Choose a citation style from the tabs below