The reported regression of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) type gastric low-grade B-cell lymphoma following treatment for Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection has not yet been comprehensively analyzed, especially in relation to the recently identified c-IAP2-MALT1 / MLT gene alteration resulting from the t(11;18)(q21;q21) chromosomal translocation found in MALT lymphoma. The relationship between MALT lymphomas and H. pylori was investigated in 30 patients who received an antibacterial treatment. Patients were followed up by means of endoscopy and biopsy. Molecular genetic analyses focused on the presence or absence of the immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) gene and / or MALT1 / MLT gene alteration resulting from t(11;18)(q21;q21) translocation. H. pylori was positive in 26 of the 30 patients. The overall success rate of cure of H. pylori infection was 96% (25 / 26). Thirteen patients (52%) showed complete remission (CR) of lymphoma, nine (36%) partial remission (PR), and three (12%) registered no change (NC). Statistical analysis revealed significant differences between CR and PR / NC patients in age ( < 60 or 60), in lymphoma location (single or multiple sites) and in the presence or absence of gene rearrangement before eradication (P < 0.05). Endoscopy showed a cobblestone appearance only in PR cases and polypoid features predominantly in NC cases. Two NC patients with polypoid gross appearance showed rearrangements involving either c-IAP2 or MALT1 gene in Southern blot analysis, while none of seven other resected patients with non-polypoid superficial gross appearance showed rearrangement. Gastric MALT lymphoma could be pragmatically subdivided into three groups, CR (MALT-A), PR (MALT-B), and NC (MALT-C) on the basis of the reaction to eradication of H. pylori. We speculate that MALT-A may represent an incipient neoplasm or dysplasia, MALT-B a neoplasm activated by antigenic stimulation of H. pylori, and MALT-C a lymphoma independent of H. pylori. Polypoid lesions in MALT-C were associated with c-IAP2-MALT1 / MLT gene alteration resulting from t(11;18)(q21;q21). This classification is thought to be clinically significant for deciding the most appropriate mode of treatment of MALT-type lymphoproliferative disorders.