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Blood. 2013 Aug 22;122(8):1350-7. doi: 10.1182/blood-2013-02-486522. Epub 2013 Jun 14.

Antibiotic therapy in nongastrointestinal MALT lymphoma: a review of the literature.

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Division of Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine I, Medical University Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18–20,Vienna, Austria.


Although antibiotic therapy has been established as the standard of care in patients with gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma, much less is known about the value of antibiotic therapy in nongastrointestinal (non-GI) MALT lymphomas. A computerized search (Medline) accompanied by a manual search to identify clinical reports on the topic of antibacterial therapy in patients with non-GI MALT lymphomas was performed. The majority of data were available for MALT lymphoma of the ocular adnexa (OAML) including a total of 131 patients in 4 retrospective studies, 3 prospective series (including 81 patients), and 1 case report. Treatment was exclusively targeting Chlamydophila psittaci (CP), using doxycycline in all but 2 studies. The median follow-up for these studies was 25 months, and both CP-positive as well as CP-negative patients responded. Complete remission was achieved in 23 patients (18%), 36 (27%) had a partial remission, 55 (42%) had stable disease, and 8 patients (6%) had progressive disease accounting for an overall response rate of 45%. In the largest study, a better response was suggested in CP-positive patients. By contrast, only scattered reports could be found for other non-GI localizations, allowing no conclusion about the benefit of antibiotic therapy and probably resulting in a publication bias toward positive cases. Based on these results, antibiotic therapy using doxycycline appears to be a reasonable first-line therapy for patients with OAML. Antibiotics, however, remain experimental for the time being in patients with other non-GI MALT lymphomas. Further preclinical studies as well as large-scale therapeutic trials are warranted to define the role of antibiotic therapy in such patients.

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