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J Clin Oncol. 2001 Nov 15;19(22):4245-51.

Prospective study of Helicobacter pylori eradication therapy in stage I(E) high-grade mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma of the stomach.

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  • 1Taiwan Cooperative Oncology Group, Division of Cancer Research, National Health Research Institutes, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.



High-grade mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphomas of the stomach are generally believed to be Helicobacter pylori-independent, autonomously growing tumors. However, anecdotal cases of regression of high-grade lymphomas after the cure of H pylori infection had been described. The present prospective study was conducted to evaluate the effect of anti-H pylori therapy in stage I(E) high-grade gastric MALT lymphomas.


Sixteen patients with H pylori infection and stage I(E) gastric high-grade MALT lymphoma consented to a brief antibiotic therapy as first-line treatment from June 1995 through April 2000. Then, patients underwent intensive endoscopic follow-up examinations (+/- endoscopic ultrasonography) with biopsy to evaluate tumor response. Patients with significant improvement of gross lesions that accompanied regression of large cells were followed up without additional treatment. Patients without significant improvement were immediately referred to systemic chemotherapy.


Eradication of H pylori was achieved in 15 patients and was accompanied by rapid gross tumor regression and disappearance of large cells in 10. All 10 of these patients with early response had subsequent complete histologic remission of lymphoma. The complete remission rate was 62.5% (95% confidence interval, 35.8% to 89.1%). The response rate was not affected by the tumor grading (proportion of large blast cells within the tumor) but was adversely affected by the depth of tumor invasion. At a median follow-up of 43.5 months (range, 21.1 to 67.4 months), all 10 of these patients remained lymphoma-free. The median duration of complete response was 31.2 months (range, 14.4 to 49.1 months).


These results suggest that high-grade transformation is not necessarily associated with the loss of H pylori dependence in early-stage MALT lymphomas of the stomach.

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