Objective: To present our experience with the treatment of primary gastrointestinal (GI) non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, evaluate prognostic factors, and give our recommendations for treatment.
Design: Retrospective study.
Setting: Teaching hospital, Spain.
Subjects: 76 patients (47 men and 29 women, mean age 51 years) treated over the 15 years 1980-1994.
Interventions: 52 patients had radical resections, 19 palliative resections, and 5 biopsy alone. 42 (55%) also had adjuvant chemotherapy and 20 (26%) radiotherapy.
Results: Patients with primary intestinal lymphoma were slightly but not significantly younger than those with gastric lymphoma (43 compared with 56 years). 43 Patients (57%) had tumours in the stomach, 26 (34%) in the small bowel, and 7 (9%) in the colon. At presentation 34 had stage I disease, 25 stage IIE1 disease, and the remaining 17 stage IIE2; 14 were classified as low grade, 41 as intermediate, and 21 as high grade. 60 (79%) had a B-cell phenotype. Overall 5-year survival was 53%. Of the 11 variables tested by univariate analysis for their prognostic effect only abdominal mass (p < 0.001), clinical stage (p < 0.001), type of operation (p < 0.001), tumour size (p < 0.05), and histological grade (p < 0.05) achieved significance, but when Cox's multivariate analysis was applied only clinical stage was significant (p < 0.01).
Conclusion: Operation is the treatment of choice, but chemotherapy and radiotherapy may have a role though as yet there are no standard guidelines for their use.