Primary follicular lymphoma of the gastrointestinal tract: A clinical and pathologic study of 26 cases)
Although the gastrointestinal tract represents the most common site of extranodal lymphoma, primary follicular lymphoma of the gastrointestinal tract is an uncommon and poorly defined disease. We report the clinical and pathologic features of 26 patients with primary gastrointestinal follicular lymphoma. Ten of 26 patients (38.5%) were stage IIE, and 16 patients (61.5%) were stage IE. Of the 26 patients, 13 were female and 13 were male. The age range was 26-81 years (median 54.5 years). Abdominal pain was the most common presenting symptom, seen in 12 of 24 patients (50%). Nodularity of the mucosal surface was the most common endoscopic finding, seen in 10 of 14 patients (71.4%). The majority of cases (22 of 26, 84.6%) involved small bowel, four involved colorectum alone, and two involved the ileocecal valve. Within the small bowel the duodenum was the most commonly involved site (10 cases). Transmural involvement by follicular lymphoma was identified in 11 of the 16 patients who underwent surgical resection; five showed involvement of mucosa and submucosa only. The most common histologic grade was grade 1. Thirteen of 26 cases were grade 1, ten grade 2, and three grade 3. Twenty-one of 26 cases showed a predominantly follicular growth pattern, four mixed follicular and diffuse, and one predominantly diffuse. All cases were positive for CD20 and BCL2 and negative for CD3, CD5, CD23, CD43, and cyclin D1. Twenty-four of 26 were positive for CD10. Four of four cases showed cytogenetic or molecular genetic evidence of t(14;18). Initial treatment modalities included surgery plus chemotherapy (nine cases), surgery alone (seven cases), chemotherapy alone (four cases), observation alone (four cases), and chemotherapy and abdominal radiation (one case). One case presented with rectal polyps and was treated with polypectomy. A complete response was observed in 15 of 22 cases that received treatment, and of the 15 cases, five recurred 27-60 months after the initial diagnosis. Recurrence and progression were associated with histologic transformation to diffuse large cell lymphoma in one case. No significant correlation was identified between treatment response and various clinical and pathologic features. Overall, none of the 26 patients died of lymphoma. One patient died of a concomitant pancreatic carcinoma. Of the remaining 25 patients, 14 were disease free and 11 were alive with disease at a mean follow-up of 43 months. The estimated 5-year disease-free survival was 62%, and median disease-free survival was 69 months. The estimated 5-year relapse-free survival was 54%, and the median relapse-free survival was 63 months.