The relationships between lymphomas and their microenvironment appear to follow 3 major patterns: (1) an independent pattern; (2) a dependent pattern on deregulated interactions; and (3) a dependent pattern on regulated coexistence. Typical examples of the third pattern are hepatitis C virus (HCV)-associated marginal zone lymphomas (MZLs) and mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphomas. In these lymphomas, a regulated coexistence of the malignant cells and the microenvironmental factors usually occurs. At least initially, however, tumor development and cell growth largely depend on external signals from the microenvironment, such as viral antigens, cytokines, and cell-cell interactions. The association between HCV infection and B-cell lymphomas is not completely defined, although this association has been demonstrated by epidemiological studies. MZL and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma are the histotypes most frequently associated with HCV infection. Many mechanisms have been proposed for explaining HCV-induced lymphomagenesis; antigenic stimulation by HCV seems to be fundamental in establishing B-cell expansion as observed in mixed cryoglobulinemia and in B-cell lymphomas. Recently, antiviral treatment has been proved to be effective in the treatment of HCV-associated indolent lymphomas. Importantly, clinically responses were linked to the eradication of the HCV-RNA, providing a strong argument in favor of a causative link between HCV and lymphoproliferation.
- B-cell lymphomas
- Diffuse large B-cell lymphomas
- Hepatitis C virus-infection
- Marginal zone lymphoma
- Mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphomas
ASJC Scopus subject areas