What role does Helicobacter pylori eradication play in gastric MALT and gastric MALT lymphoma?

Gastroenterology. 1997 Dec;113(6 Suppl):S61-4. doi: 10.1016/s0016-5085(97)80014-5.


The concept of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) has been introduced to differentiate biological functions from behavior of nonnodal vs. nodal lymphoid tissues. Lymphomas arising from MALT also behave differently than typical nodal lymphomas. In contrast to other tissues, MALT in the stomach is almost exclusively a result of Helicobacter pylori infection. Thus, MALT is part of the host defense against the pathogen H. pylori. Consequently, lymphomas arising from gastric MALT may be a clonal evolution starting from the infection. In low-grade gastric MALT lymphoma, cure of the infection may induce complete histological remission in the majority of patients. Investigators have recently reported that complete remission rate is between 70% and 80%. In an extended analysis, we have treated 84 patients with low-grade gastric MALT lymphoma in stage El, using a dual regimen to eradicate H. pylori. Complete remission was observed in 68 (80%) patients; a partial remission was found in 4 patients. In contrast, 12 patients showed no change and were referred to alternative treatment. In patients in complete remission, a polymerase chain reaction assay for the rearranged immunoglobulin heavy-chain gene remained positive in many cases. Together with data from the literature, these data suggest that the majority of patients with low-grade gastric MALT lymphomas in stage El respond to eradication of H. pylori. Longer follow-up investigations are necessary to determine if remissions indicate a cure from the disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Gastric Mucosa / microbiology*
  • Helicobacter Infections / complications*
  • Helicobacter Infections / microbiology
  • Helicobacter Infections / therapy
  • Helicobacter pylori / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Lymphoid Tissue / microbiology*
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell, Marginal Zone / microbiology*
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell, Marginal Zone / pathology
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell, Marginal Zone / therapy
  • Remission Induction
  • Stomach Neoplasms / microbiology*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / therapy