Background: We aimed to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a conservative approach with short-term chemotherapy with or without consolidation radiotherapy in primary resectable large-cell gastric lymphoma in patients not requiring emergency surgery at presentation.
Patients and methods: Seventeen consecutive patients presenting with resectable primary large-cell lymphoma of the stomach not requiring immediate surgery were initially treated with chemotherapy with or without consolidation radiotherapy. Subtotal or total resection of the stomach was planned only as salvage treatment for those patients who failed locally, or as emergency surgery in instances of acute iatrogenic complications of treatment. Chemotherapy included four to six cycles of an anthracycline-containing regimen, and consolidation radiotherapy was planned on the entire stomach and surrounding lymph node areas for complete responders readily capable of compliance with a daily treatment schedule at our Institution.
Results: None of the patients in the present series experienced acute iatrogenic morbidity or mortality from local complications. After a median follow-up of almost six years, two patients failing first-line chemotherapy have died of progressive lymphoma, while 15 patients are well and currently disease-free.
Conclusions: Up-front chemotherapy as initial treatment for primary gastric large-cell lymphoma appears to be a safe and effective treatment by which most patients can probably be spared surgical gastrectomy. Consolidation radiation therapy on the stomach can probably improve on the effectiveness of chemotherapy alone. More experience is needed to elucidate the prognostic factors, treatment-related long-term toxic effects and the feasibility of such a treatment administered outside of highly specialized institutions.