Purpose: Involvement of salivary glands with mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma is rare. This retrospective study was performed to assess the clinical profile, treatment outcome, and prognostic factors of MALT lymphoma of the salivary glands.
Methods and materials: Thirteen member centers of the Rare Cancer Network from 10 countries participated, providing data on 63 patients. The median age was 58 years; 47 patients were female and 16 were male. The parotid glands were involved in 49 cases, submandibular in 15, and minor glands in 3. Multiple glands were involved in 9 patients. Staging was as follows: IE in 34, IIE in 12, IIIE in 2, and IV in 15 patients.
Results: Surgery (S) alone was performed in 9, radiotherapy (RT) alone in 8, and chemotherapy (CT) alone in 4 patients. Forty-one patients received combined modality treatment (S + RT in 23, S + CT in 8, RT + CT in 4, and all three modalities in 6 patients). No active treatment was given in one case. After initial treatment there was no tumor in 57 patients and residual tumor in 5. Tumor progression was observed in 23 (36.5%) (local in 1, other salivary glands in 10, lymph nodes in 11, and elsewhere in 6). Five patients died of disease progression and the other 5 of other causes. The 5-year disease-free survival, disease-specific survival, and overall survival were 54.4%, 93.2%, and 81.7%, respectively. Factors influencing disease-free survival were use of RT, stage, and residual tumor (p < 0.01). Factors influencing disease-specific survival were stage, recurrence, and residual tumor (p < 0.01).
Conclusions: To our knowledge, this report represents the largest series of MALT lymphomas of the salivary glands published to date. This disease may involve all salivary glands either initially or subsequently in 30% of patients. Recurrences may occur in up to 35% of patients at 5 years; however, survival is not affected. Radiotherapy is the only treatment modality that improves disease-free survival.
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