Andre Goy, MD, chairman and director, chief of Lymphoma, and director of Clinical and Translational Cancer Research at John Theurer Cancer Center, discusses marginal zone lymphoma.
Marginal zone lymphoma is uncommon, and makes up about 5% to 8% of all lymphomas. However, much can be learned from the rare disease, says Goy.
Studies have identified several types of marginal zone lymphoma that are antigenically driven. The most common and well-defined type is gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma. Antibiotics are often used as the primary treatment for MALT lymphoma of the stomach.
There is also skin MALT lymphoma, which has been linked in Europe to Lyme disease. This can also be treated with antibiotics, says Goy. Additionally, there is MALT lymphoma of the lungs.
MALT lymphoma can occur after chronic stimulation that generates enough mutation to drive the cell to become cancerous, says Goy. Overtime, a MALT lymphoma can become independent lymphoma not responsive to antibiotics, and could potentially transform.