The role of Helicobacter pylori eradication in the treatment of diffuse large B-cell and marginal zone lymphomas of the stomach

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Abstract

Purpose of review

This review is focused on the effect of Helicobacter pylori eradication with antibiotics in patients with primary gastric lymphomas of indolent and aggressive nature.

Recent findings

Gastrointestinal lymphoma is the most common form of extranodal lymphoma, involving primarily the stomach in 60–75% of cases. The most common histological subtypes are diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and marginal zone B-cell lymphoma of the mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT)-type. H. pylori infection has been implicated in the pathogenesis of gastric MALT lymphoma; its role in gastric DLBCL remains controversial. Recently, international guidelines established that patients with gastric MALT lymphoma should be treated with upfront H. pylori-eradicating antibiotic therapy and that residual microscopic or molecular disease does not need for additional antiblastic treatment. The excellent prognosis of patients with gastric DLBCL managed with conservative chemo-radiotherapy led some investigators to test H. pylori eradication as exclusive treatment in prospective trials, keeping chemo-radiotherapy for unresponsive patients. This conservative strategy was well tolerated and active in patients with limited-stage DLBCL (±MALT areas) of the stomach.

Summary

H. pylori eradication is a suitable strategy as exclusive upfront treatment for both patients with MALT-type lymphomas or with DLBCL of the stomach. Additional trials are needed to elucidate related controversial issues.

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