AbstractBACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Lymphomas of the gastrointestinal tract are the most common type of primary extranodal lymphomas, accounting for 5 to 10% of all non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. In particular, primary intestinal lymphomas represent about 15-20% of gastrointestinal lymphomas. New multimodal therapeutic approaches have improved the prognosis of this once deadly disease: we report a retrospective analysis of our experience with 32 cases of primary western intestinal lymphomas, presenting clinical, therapeutical and prognostic data. PATIENTS AND METHODS: From March 1989 to November 1995, 32 patients with untreated primary western intestinal lymphomas were submitted to radical surgery plus polychemotherapy (early stages, I and II; 22 patients), or polychemotherapy alone (advanced stage, III and IV; 10 patients). The most frequent symptoms were abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and weight loss. The tumor was located in the jejunum in 2 cases (6.2%), in the proximal small bowel in 15 cases (46.9%), in the distal and terminal ileum in 8 cases (25%), in the colon and rectum in 4 cases (12.5%), and multiple sites were found in 3 cases (9.4%). According to histology, 26 patients had high-grade and 6 low-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. RESULTS: Stage I-II patients underwent radical resection of the tumor and chemotherapy; advanced (III-IV) stage patients were treated with chemotherapy alone as first-line approach. Of the 32 patients, 24 (75%) achieved a complete response (CR); according to stage, all stage I-II patients had CR, while only 2 of the 10 stage III-IV patients reached CR. The risk of a lower response rate was significantly correlated with the presence of advanced stage (III-IV) (p = 0.000001). The overall 5-year survival rate was 59%, with a relapse-free survival rate of 72% among the 24 complete responders. INTERPRETATION AND CONCLUSIONS: Intestinal lymphomas differ significantly from their gastric counterpart, not only in pathology, but also with regard to clinical features, management and prognosis. Our experience confirm the efficacy of the surgery-chemotherapy combination in obtaining a good remission rate for localized early primary intestinal lymphoma and indicates that this combination represents the only means for managing complications.
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Vol. 82 No. 3 (1997): May, 1997 : Articles
Ferrata Storti Foundation, Pavia, Italy
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