A peculiar group of lymphoid proliferations at mucosal sites, referred to as lymphomas of the mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT), were initially recognized in 1983. The term was soon abbreviated to MALT lymphomas, which then became known in common clinical parlance as MALTomas (even if the Revised European-American Classification of Lymphoid Neoplasm categorized them as marginal-zone lymphomas). MALT lymphomas consist of a heterogeneous group of B-cell proliferations that share three characteristics: (1) they tend to arise as polyclonal proliferations in tissues involved by chronic inflammatory processes, either autoimmune or infectious; (2) they usually have a long, indolent course and tend to remain localized at their sites of origin for years or even decades; and (3) they are populated by B cells at various stages of differentiation, sometimes including mature plasma cells. The discovery of a relation between gastric MALT lymphomas and infection caused by Helicobacter pylori has profoundly influenced our understanding of the pathogenesis of lymphomas and revolutionized our approach to their management. For the first time in the history of medical oncology, tumors have been cured by antibiotic therapy.
|Number of pages
|Clinical Perspectives in Gastroenterology
|Published - Jan 1 2000
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