Hepatitis C virus and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma 10 years later

C. Mazzaro, U. Tirelli, G. Pozzato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Hepatitis C virus is associated with chronic liver disease as well as with lymphoproliferative disorders such as mixed cryoglobulinemia and, likely, non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. The association between hepatitis C virus infection and B-cell lymphoma is controversial since it shows a strong regional variation. In fact, the prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma shows a prevalence ranging between 7.4 and 37.0%. However, the intimate pathogenetic mechanism involved in hepatitis C virus-associated lymphomas remains considerably unknown. Hepatitis C virus may exert its oncogenic potential via an indirect mechanism or utilise other pathways directly. It is reasonable to assume that several different pathogenetic mechanisms operate in the wide spectrum of hepatitis C virus-related lymphoproliferative disorders, which include the intermediate to high-grade lymphoma, and the more common indolent, low-grade lymphoma, preceded by long standing symptomatic mixed cryoglobulinemia Type II. In this review, the etiopathogenetic role of hepatitis C virus in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is discussed on the basis of molecular, clinical and epidemiological considerations. The management of hepatitis C virus-associated non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is similar to that of conventional lymphoma, although viral reactivation or the underlying chronic liver disease can complicate chemotherapy. Whether to treat low-grade hepatitis C virus-related lymphomas with anti-viral therapy is still debatable, but encouraging data emerge from some recent studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-226
Number of pages8
JournalDigestive and Liver Disease
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2005


  • CD81
  • HCV
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Mixed cryoglobulinemia
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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