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Mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma of the stomach: long term outcome after local treatment.

Cancer 1999 January 2
BACKGROUND: Although antibiotic therapy is emerging as effective initial treatment for patients with gastric lymphoma of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT), there is a subset of patients for whom antibiotics are ineffective or inappropriate. Surgical resection can be curative, but total gastrectomy may be required for the eradication of all disease. To identify the optimal nonantibiotic therapy for early stage gastric MALT lymphoma, the authors retrospectively evaluated the Massachusetts General Hospital experience with gastric MALT lymphoma.

METHODS: Disease patterns and treatment outcomes were retrospectively analyzed in data from 21 consecutive patients with gastric MALT lymphoma who were treated between 1978 and 1995 at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

RESULTS: Sixteen patients were Stage IE, and 5 were in higher stages. Treatment consisted of resection with or without radiation or chemotherapy (14 patients), radiation alone (4 patients), or radiation plus chemotherapy (2 patients). Thirteen Stage IE patients received local therapy only. The 10-year actuarial relapse free survival rate for Stage IE patients was 93%, with 1 relapse among 15 treated patients. Because the patient who relapsed was treated successfully with chemotherapy, the 10-year cancer free survival was 100%. Overall survival for Stage IE patients was 93% at 5 years and 58% at 10 years, with no deaths from lymphoma.

CONCLUSIONS: These data indicate that a high probability of long term remission can be achieved with only local treatment of patients with Stage I gastric MALT lymphoma. Preliminary results suggest that radiation therapy is well tolerated and effective and may well be the optimal nonantibiotic treatment for patients with localized gastric MALT lymphoma.

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