Prevalence of HCV infection in nongastric marginal zone B-cell lymphoma of MALT

Luca Arcaini, S. Burcheri, A. Rossi, M. Paulli, R. Bruno, F. Passamonti, E. Brusamolino, A. Molteni, A. Pulsoni, M. C. Cox, L. Orsucci, A. Fabbri, M. Frezzato, M. T. Voso, F. Zaja, F. Montanari, M. Merli, C. Pascutto, E. Morra, S. CortelazzoM. Lazzarino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is frequently associated with B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. We investigated the prevalence of HCV infection in nongastric marginal zone lymphomas of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) in order to define the relationship between the viral infection and the presenting features, treatment, and outcome. Methods: We retrospectively studied 172 patients with a histological diagnosis of marginal zone B-cell lymphoma of MALT, except for stomach, and with available HCV serology, among a series of 208 patients. Results: HCV infection was documented in 60 patients (35%). Most HCV-positive patients (97%) showed a single MALT organ involvement. HCV-positive patients showed a more frequent involvement of skin (35%), salivary glands (25%), and orbit (15%). The majority of stage IV HCV-positive patients (71%) had a single MALT site with bone marrow involvement. The overall response rate was similar in HCV-positive (93%) and HCV-negative patients (87%). Overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) did not differ according to HCV infection. In multivariate analysis, advanced disease (stage III-IV) was associated with a poorer OS (P = 0.0001), irrespective of HCV serostatus. Conclusions: This study shows that nongastric marginal zone lymphomas are characterized by a high prevalence of HCV infection. Patients with involvement of a single MALT site have the highest prevalence of HCV. HCV-positive nongastric lymphomas of MALT show an indolent course similar to HCV-negative patients and seem an ideal target for exploiting the antilymphoma activity of antiviral treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-350
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007


  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Infectious agents
  • MALT lymphoma
  • Marginal zone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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