Purpose: Low-grade mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma of the stomach (MLS) is often associated with the presence of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria. Eradication of the infection with antibiotic therapy may result in regression of the lymphoma. But when antibiotic treatment fails to reverse the malignant process or if H. pylori is absent, other treatment options should be considered. Because MLS is often confined to the stomach and regional lymph nodes, it is potentially curable with local therapy. Endoscopy and improved imaging, with endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) and computerized tomography (CT), have reduced the prior dependence on surgery for diagnosis and staging of gastric lymphomas.
Methods and results: This review details the advances in the diagnosis, classification, and imaging of MLS. We also describe the experience that supports the use of radiation therapy as the preferred treatment of MLS in patients who have not responded to antibiotic therapy or have not had evidence for H. pylori infection.
Conclusions: Radiation therapy for MLS is not only effective and safe, but offers the significant advantage of low morbidity and gastric function preservation.