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Chemotherapy for early-stage gastrointestinal lymphoma


A total of 176 patients with gastrointestinal lymphomas were reviewed. According to a modified staging classification, 51 of them had stage I/II disease and the remaining 125 had stage III/IV disease. In most cases (68%), the histology was intermediate-grade according to the NIH working formulation, and the B-cell immunophenotype was involved in 89% of the 45 cases with a known immunophenotype. The primary site was the stomach in 56% of cases and the bowel in 44%. A significantly higher proportion (P=0.001) of those with bowel lymphomas had stage III/IV disease (88% vs 57%). The primary gastrointestinal lesion was resected in 122 patients, including all 51 cases of stage I/II disease. In all, 8 stage I/II patients were given radiotherapy alone following surgery and the other 43 underwent chemotherapy; of the latter, 19 received additional radiotherapy following chemotherapy. Chemotherapy was also given to 112 stage III/IV patients, 42 of whom underwent additional radiotherapy. Factors associated with a poorer prognosis included advanced disease, bowel lymphoma and advanced age. Although the complete response (CR) rate according to disease stage was similar, stage I/II patients receiving chemotherapy showed a significantly lower relapse rate, better disease-free survival following CR and improved survival as compared with those receiving radiotherapy alone. However, additional radiotherapy following chemotherapy did not further improve the clinical outcome.

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Correspondence to Raymond Liang.

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Supported by a grant from the Haematology Research Fund, Department of Medicine, University of Hong Kong

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Liang, R., Chiu, E., Todd, D. et al. Chemotherapy for early-stage gastrointestinal lymphoma. Cancer Chemother. Pharmacol. 27, 385–388 (1991).

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  • Lymphoma
  • Clinical Outcome
  • Cancer Research
  • Poor Prognosis
  • Advanced Disease