Decreasing incidence of gastric MALT lymphomas in the era of anti-Helicobacter pylori interventions: results from a population-based study on extranodal marginal zone lymphomas

Ann Oncol. 2010 Apr;21(4):855-859. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdp402. Epub 2009 Oct 22.


Background: Few studies have been carried out to date that have addressed the epidemiology of extranodal marginal zone lymphomas (EN-MZLs).

Patients and methods: We carried out a population-based study to investigate incidence rates (IRs) and time trends of EN-MZL diagnosed in the province of Modena (Italy) from 1997 to 2007.

Results: One hundred and sixty-five cases were identified from the Modena Cancer Registry that corresponded to an age-standardized IR of 2.3 cases per 100 000. A bimodal distribution of age was shown with the group of young patients mostly represented by males with cutaneous lymphoma. No time trends were observed for the IR; the incidence of gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (g-MALT) lymphomas (N = 51) markedly declined during the study period, dropping from 1.4 in 1997 to 0.2 in 2002 and then remaining stable until 2007; the calculated annual percent change for g-MALT was -17.0% (95% confidence interval -26.6% to -6.2%). We also observed a significant decrease in the rate of g-MALT associated with Helicobacter pylori (HP) infection from 61% to 17% of patients diagnosed before and after 2002 (P = 0.007; P for trend = 0.016).

Conclusion: This population-based study provides new insights into recent changes in the epidemiology of EN-MZL, mainly represented by the sharp reduced incidence of HP-positive g-MALT lymphomas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Helicobacter Infections / complications
  • Helicobacter Infections / drug therapy*
  • Helicobacter Infections / epidemiology*
  • Helicobacter pylori / drug effects
  • Helicobacter pylori / physiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell, Marginal Zone / epidemiology*
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell, Marginal Zone / etiology
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell, Marginal Zone / prevention & control
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Population
  • Registries
  • Stomach Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / etiology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents