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Blood Rev. 2002 Jun;16(2):119-25.

Hepatitis C and B-cell lymphoma: the hemato-hepatologist linkage.

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Liver Unit, the Department of Internal Medicine A, Bnai Zion Medical Center, 47 Golomb St, PO Box 4940, Haifa 31048, Israel.


Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-lymphotropism may be responsible for the development of mixed cryoglobulinemia (MC) and other lymphoproliferative disorders associated with HCV infection. An association between HCV infection and B-cell lymphoma has been largely demonstrated in several geographical areas with prevalence ranging between 7.4 and 37%. However, the intimate pathogenetic mechanism involved in HCV-associated lymphomas remains considerably unknown. HCV may exerts its oncogenic potential via an indirect mechanism or utilizes other pathways directly. It is reasonable to assume that several different pathogenetic mechanisms operate in the wide spectrum of HCV-related lymphomas which includes the 'idiopathic', non-cryoglobulinemic, intermediate to high-grade lymphoma, and the more common indolent, low-grade lymphoma, preceded by long standing symptomatic MC type II. In most cases, HCV has no significant impact on response to chemotherapy or survival of lymphoma patients. Treatment with chemotherapy is relatively safe, and interruption of treatment regimens is usually not required. Whether to treat low-grade HCV-related lymphomas with anti-viral therapy is still debatable, but encouraging data emerge from recent studies.

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