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Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

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Cellular Classification of Adult Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma


Interferon-alpha also shows activity in this disease, in contrast to poor responses in patients with multiple myeloma.[49] Myeloablative therapy with autologous hematopoietic stem cell support is under clinical evaluation.[50,51,52] Candidates for this approach should avoid long-term use of alkylating agents or purine nucleoside analogs, which can deplete hematopoietic stem cells or predispose patients to myelodysplasia or acute leukemia.[37,53] After relapse from alkylating-agent therapy, 92 patients with lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma were randomly assigned to either fludarabine or cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and prednisone. Although relapse-free survival favored fludarabine (median duration 19 months vs. 3 months, P < .01), no difference was observed in OS.[54][Level of evidence: 1iiDii] Among patients with concomitant hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, some will attain a complete or partial remission after loss of detectable HCV RNA with treatment using interferon-alpha with or without ribavirin.[55][Level of evidence: 3iiiDiv]

Marginal zone lymphoma

Marginal zone lymphomas were previously included among the diffuse small lymphocytic lymphomas. When marginal zone lymphomas involve the nodes, they are called monocytoid B-cell lymphomas or nodal marginal zone B-cell lymphomas, and when they involve extranodal sites (e.g., gastrointestinal tract, thyroid, lung, breast, orbit, and skin), they are called MALT lymphomas.[4,56,57,58,59,60,61,62,63]

Many patients have a history of autoimmune disease, such as Hashimoto thyroiditis or Sjögren syndrome, or of Helicobacter gastritis. Most patients present with stage I or stage II extranodal disease, which is most often in the stomach. Treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection may resolve most cases of localized gastric involvement.[64,65,66,67] After standard antibiotic regimens, 50% of patients show resolution of gastric MALT by endoscopy after 3 months. Other patients may show resolution after 12 to 18 months of observation. Of the patients who attain complete remission, 30% demonstrate monoclonality by immunoglobulin heavy chain rearrangement on stomach biopsies with a 5-year median follow-up.[68] The clinical implication of this finding is unknown. Translocation t(11;18) in patients with gastric MALT predicts for poor response to antibiotic therapy, for Helicobacter pylori–negative testing, and for poor response to oral alkylator chemotherapy.[69,70,71] Stable asymptomatic patients with persistently positive biopsies have been successfully followed on a watchful waiting approach until disease progression.[65,66] Patients who progress are treated with radiation therapy,[72,73,74,75] rituximab,[76] surgery (total gastrectomy or partial gastrectomy plus radiation therapy),[77] chemotherapy,[61] or combined modality therapy.[78] The use of endoscopic ultrasonography may help clinicians to follow responses in these patients.[79] Three small case series (two retrospective and one prospective) reported durable complete remissions after treatment of Helicobacter pylori in patients with aggressive lymphoma (complete remission rate of 35%–88% and a median duration of 21–60 mo).[80,81,82]


WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: May 16, 2012
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