Thursday, September 17, 2009

The gastric MALT lymphoma. An unforeseen model for studying the pathogenesis of the limphomas

The gastric MALT lymphoma. An unforeseen model for studying the pathogenesis of the lymphomas

Recenti Prog Med. 2009 Jun

Savio A.
Unità Funzionale di Istopatologia, Laboratorio di Patologia Clinica ed Istocitopatologia, Ospedale S. Orsola Fatebenefratelli, Brescia.

MALT lymphoma is a low-grade lymphoma originating from the mucosa associated lymphoid tissue. It is the third most frequent non-Hodgkin B-cell lymphomas. One third of the cases is primary gastric. The causal association between Helicobacter pylori infection and gastric MALT lymphoma is proved by numerous clinical and experimental studies. The most dramatic evidence supporting a pathogenetic role for H. pylori in gastric MALT lymphoma is remission of the tumour following eradication with antibiotic therapy. However, the evolution of a H. pylori infection towards lymphoma is an exceptional event which takes place probably due to the concurrence of host, environmental and bacterial strain factors. Gastric MALT lymphoma is currently the only malignant neoplasia that can be cured by a simple antibiotic therapy. In early stage cases the Helicobacter pylori eradication is the first line therapy as it obtains stable remissions in most of the cases. Surgical treatment of this disease has been completely abandoned. The role of chemio and radiotherapy is limited to the few cases non-responders to the antibiotic therapy. This paper offers a wide and updated review of the literature about gastric MALT lymphoma. Practical points for the clinical management are also given, in keeping with the European Guidelines that will be shortly published.


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