Prognosis and Outcome of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in Primary Sjögren Syndrome

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Sjögren syndrome (SS) has been associated with the development of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). From a cohort of 584 SS patients followed in our department from 1980 to 2010, we retrospectively analyzed 53 consecutive NHL cases. Considerations included histologic type, clinical manifestation and NHL staging, treatment, response rate and overall survival (OS), event-free survival (EFS), and standardized mortality ratio (SMR).Mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphomas constituted the majority (59%) of NHL subtypes, followed by nodal marginal zone lymphomas (NMZLs) (15%) and diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCLs) (15%). Six lymphoma patients died during the median follow-up of 40.8 months. The corresponding age/sex-adjusted SMR of SS with and without NHLs versus the general population was 3.25 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.32–6.76) and 1.08 (95% CI, 0.79–1.45), respectively. A “watch and wait” policy was adopted for 9 patients with asymptomatic localized salivary MALT lymphomas. Eight patients with limited-stage MALT lymphomas and extraglandular manifestations were treated with rituximab. Ten MALT lymphoma patients with disseminated disease received chemotherapy with or without rituximab. The 3-year OS and EFS in patients with MALT lymphomas was 97% and 78%, respectively. Rituximab plus CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisone) was the chosen therapeutic intervention for patients with DLBCLs. A successful outcome was recorded for this group, with 100% OS and EFS at 3 years. Patients with NMZLs had a less favorable outcome, with a 3-year OS of 80% and EFS of 53%. Our results describe the course and prognosis of SS-associated NHL and highlight the need for a risk-stratified treatment approach.

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