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J Clin Oncol. 2006 Jul 1;24(19):3136-41. Epub 2006 Jun 12.

Assessment of disease dissemination in gastric compared with extragastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma using extensive staging: a single-center experience.

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Department of Internal Medicine I and IV, University of Vienna, Austria.



Molecular data and preliminary clinical findings have suggested mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma as a multifocal disease in a high percentage of patients. We report our findings with an extensive staging routine applied in patients diagnosed with MALT lymphoma at our institution.


A total of 140 consecutive patients (61 with gastric and 79 with extragastric MALT lymphoma) underwent staging according to a standardized protocol. Staging included gastroscopy with multiple biopsies, endosonography of the upper GI tract, computed tomography of thorax and abdomen, lymph node sonography, colonoscopy with multiple biopsies, otorhinolaryngologic assessment, magnetic resonance imaging of salivary and lacrimal glands, and bone marrow biopsy. All lesions suggestive of lymphoma involvement were subjected to biopsy, if accessible, and biopsies were evaluated for MALT lymphoma-specific genetic aberrations by means of reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and/or fluorescent in situ hybridization.


Fifteen (25%) of 61 patients with gastric MALT lymphoma had multiorgan involvement, with dissemination beyond the GI tract in six patients. By contrast, significantly more patients with extragastric MALT lymphoma had dissemination to another MALT organ (37 of 79 patients, 46%; P = .045). Nine of these 37 patients had dissemination to the stomach. Only three (2%) of 140 patients had bone marrow involvement. Multifocality was significantly associated with t(11;18)(q21;q21) in gastric lymphomas (P = .045) and with trisomy 18 in extragastric lymphomas (P = .011).


Our findings suggest that MALT lymphoma frequently presents as a multifocal disease. Extragastric MALT lymphomas are significantly more prone to dissemination than gastric MALT lymphomas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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