Gastric lymphoma of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) is related to Helicobacter pylori infection and may depend on this infection for growth.
To determine the response of gastric MALT lymphoma to antibiotic treatment.
Prospective, uncontrolled treatment trial.
University hospital referral center and three collaborating university and community hospitals.
34 patients with stage I or stage II N1 gastric MALT lymphoma.
Two of three oral antibiotic regimens--1) amoxicillin, 750 mg three times daily, and clarithromycin, 500 mg three times daily; 2)tetracycline, 500 mg four times daily, and clarithromycin, 500 mg three times daily; or 3) tetracycline, 500 mg four times daily, and metronidazole, 500 mg three times daily--were administered sequentially (usually in the order written) for 21 days at baseline and at 8 weeks, along with a proton-pump inhibitor (lansoprazole or omeprazole) and bismuth subsalicylate.
Complete remission was defined as the absence of histopathologic evidence of lymphoma on endoscopic biopsy. Partial remission was defined as a reduction in endoscopic tumor stage or 50% reduction in the size of large tumors.
34 patients were followed for a mean (+/-SD) of 41 +/- 16 months (range, 18 to 70 months) after antibiotic treatment. Of 28 H. pylori-positive patients, 14 (50% [95% CI, 31% to 69%]) achieved complete remission, 8 (29%) achieved partial remission (treatment eventually failed in 4 of the 8), and 10 (36% [CI, 19% to 56%]) did not respond to treatment. Treatment failed in all 6 (100% [CI, 54% to 100%]) H. pylori-negative patients. Patients with endoscopic appearance of gastritis (stage I T1 disease) were most likely to achieve complete remission within 18 months. Tumors in the distal stomach were associated with more favorable response than tumors in the proximal stomach.
A subset of H. pylori-positive gastric MALT lymphomas, including infiltrative tumors, may respond to antibiotics. The likelihood of early complete remission seems to be greatest for superficial and distal tumors.