Long-term Follow-up of Gastrectomized Patients With Mucosa-associated Lymphoid Tissue Lymphoma: Need for a Revisit of Surgical Treatment

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Background:Gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma is characterized by multifocality of the tumors, which often scatter over the mucosa of the stomach and adjacent upper gastrointestinal tract, and is therefore theoretically not curable by surgical resection.Methods:We conducted a long-term follow-up study of 14 patients who received surgical treatment for gastric MALT lymphoma. Tissues from the surgical margins of the resected stomach were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction-based amplification of the complementarity-determining region 3 of the IgH gene for the presence of residual tumors. T (11;18)(q21;q21), a marker of Helicobacter pylori-independent MALT lymphoma, was analyzed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. All living patients were restaged, and rebiopsied if suspicious lesions were identified.Results:At a median follow-up of 11.5 years, only 1 patient had evidence of tumor recurrence. Three patients with molecularly proven residual tumors in the surgical margin remained disease-free at 9.6 to 11.6 years. Five patients with t(11;18)(q21;q21) in the tumor cells were disease-free at 9.2 to 12.6 years.Conclusion:Our results indicate that surgical resection is a highly curative treatment for gastric MALT lymphoma, even for patients with residual tumor cells in the surgical margins, and for patients with H. pylori-independent tumors. A revisit of surgical treatment for gastric MALT lymphoma is mandatory.

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