- Gastric Lymphomas represent a minority (~15%) of gastric malignancies and roughly 2% of all lymphomas, however, they do account for the most common lymphoma originating outside of a lymph node. The cell of origin is thought to be a B-cell derived from gastric Mucosal-associated Lymphoid Tissue (MALT) and as a result some refer to this malignancy as a "MALT Lymphoma".
- Gastric Lymphoma is thought to be a sequelae of chronic gastritis induced by Helicobacter pylori infection and is thus a possible complication of these conditions. It is thought that long-term proliferation of MALT B-cells within the chronic inflammatory environment induced by chronic gastritis ultimately results in accumulation of mutations within the proliferating B-cells that may induce their neoplastic transformation.
- In roughly half of cases neoplastic gastric lymphoma cells are dependent on chronic inflammatory cytokines for survival and thus antibiotic treatment of H. pylori infection results in tumor regression. In the remaining half of cases neoplastic lymphoma cells continue to proliferate even after the H. pylori is cleared and thus require surgical resection. Consequently, gastric lymphoma is a highly unique disease in that it is a cancer that can be treated with antibiotics and a lymphoma that can be surgically resected.