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This question was answered on Fri 13, Jun 2008 06:18am by Dr Paul S, MD

malt lymphoma at stage 4. What is the prognosis for this patient and any advice on how to recover from this with complete remission

Asked by user (Female; 60; no serious illness. She is pretty healthy and at a good weight.; Relevant drugs:she is currently not taking any medications. ) on Thu 12, Jun 2008 04:34pm

Hi, I have a friend who has a rare type of lymphoma called malt lymphoma. She is about 60 years old. She is going for 6 sessions of chemotherapy and is diagnosed at stage4, but I heard that it is a slow growing, low grade lymphoma which is more important than the staging. Is this correct? and what are her chances to achieve remission of the illness? Please give any prognosis information according to past cases and professional opinion. Thank you very much.

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Answer by Dr Paul S, MD  on Fri 13, Jun 2008 06:18am:

Hi there. MALT lymphoma usually arises from the gastrointestinal tract most commonly from the stomach. This may be related to infection with bacteria called H. pylori, and some may regress with treatment for this infection alone. However, if your friend has advanced disease, treating for H.pylori may be of no benefit. Even in advanced stages, the prognosis is still good which may still reach more than 80-90% survival rate at 5 years due to the indolent nature of the disease. In fact, some oncologist would defer treatment until definitive symptoms occur, again, due to the indolent nature. However, low grade indolent lymphomas have a lesser chance of having a complete remission, since chemotherapy would really work better for other types of lymphomas (those that are intermediate or high grade). The objective of therapy is to quash symptoms related to the tumors rather than striving for a complete remission. I suggest that these situations be discussed more with her oncologist and I'm hoping that her treatment will be effective and uneventful. Regards and God bless.

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Follow up:

Clarification by thedrone on Fri 13, Jun 2008 12:44pm:
Thank you for your response.  I truely appreciate it very much.  It is difficult to find this type of
information without going to the doctor.  I realize that every case is different.  The patient is now going
through treatment, but I don't understand how this type of lymphoma eventually overcomes a person.  The
patient does not experience too overwhelming symptoms, even in stage4.  Is this a good sign that there is a
chance that she may be able to live with this? Thank you for any information you can provide. 


Comment by Dr Paul S, MD on Fri 13, Jun 2008 07:51pm: For patients without symptoms, it is really a concerted decision of the patient and the doctor in starting treatment. Decision to treat is easier is the patient have symptoms pertaining to the lymphoma (like fever, weight loss, pain symptoms). Regards.

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