Gastric non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: Analysis of 252 patients from a multicenter study

Luigi Salvagno, Mariella Sorarù, Mario Busetto, Cesare Puccetti, Cosimo Sava, Luigi Endrizzi, Mauro Giusto, Savina Aversa, Vanna Chiarion Sileni, Rolando Polico, Antonio Bianco, Maurizio Rupolo, Donato Nitti, Claudio Doglioni, Mario Lise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims and background: The stomach is the most common site of primary extranodal non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) and no agreement has been reached so far on the best therapeutic approach. The main objects of this study were to report the long-term results and to evaluate the importance of some possible prognostic factors in a large series of patients. NHL was considered primary gastric if the main symptoms at presentation were those of gastric disease. Methods and study design: We analyzed 252 consecutive patients treated between 1980 and 1993 in five hospitals in north-east Italy. According to the Working Formulation, 98 patients had low grade lymphoma, 59 intermediate grade (D to F), 81 G or high grade and 14 were not classified. The patients were divided into two groups: one including patients with limited disease (localized to the stomach or perigastric lymph nodes; 165 patients) and one including those with advanced disease (87 patients). The treatment consisted of surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy or combinations of these. Sixteen patients received only supportive therapy. Results: The five-year overall survival was 65.4%: 80.3% for patients with limited disease and 36.7% for those with advanced disease (P <0.0001). Among the limited disease patients the five-year survival was 84.4% for those treated with gastrectomy alone and 88.7% for those who received also adjuvant chemotherapy (P = 0.11). However, while chemotherapy did not improve survival in low grade NHL, it seemed to produce a better survival in the intermediate and high grade groups (P = 0.06). Twelve patients were treated with primary chemotherapy and the five- year survival was 71.2%. In multivariate regression analysis the most important variable for overall survival was surgery for the whole group of 252 patients (P <0.0001), while it was age for the group with limited disease (P = 0.0008). Conclusions: Surgery alone can be curative for most patients with gastric lymphoma limited to the stomach or to the perigastric lymph nodes; surgery followed by chemotherapy seems to produce better results than surgery alone in intermediate and high grade lymphomas. Also a non- surgical approach with first-line chemotherapy is associated with a high rate of complete remissions and five-year survival. In advanced disease the five- year survival is similar to that of nodal NHL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-121
Number of pages9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1999


  • Chemotherapy
  • Gastric non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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