Primary Gastrointestinal Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma of the Small and Large Intestines: a Systematic Review

Amy L. Lightner, Evan Shannon, Melinda Maggard Gibbons, Marcia M. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: Primary gastrointestinal non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (PGINHL) of small and large intestines is a group of heterogeneous, rare malignancies. Optimal treatment practices remain undefined. Methods: A systematic review (2003–2015) was performed to assess tumor characteristics, treatment practices, and treatment outcomes of PGINHL of small and large intestines. Results: Twenty-eight studies (1658 patients) were included; five focused on follicular lymphoma subtype. Of the non-follicular patients, 59.3 % presented with abdominal pain, 37.2 % were located in ileocecum, and 53.6 % were diffuse large B cell lymphoma subtype. The majority of patients (60.7 %) were treated with a combination of surgery and chemotherapy. Forty-three percent of studies concluded an overall survival benefit with surgery; none reported increased postoperative morbidity or mortality. Survival outcomes were not typically stratified by emergent versus elective surgery. Multivariate analysis within individual studies associated B cell lymphoma and ileocecum location with higher survival, while advanced stage and B symptoms were associated with poorer survival. Patients with asymptomatic follicular lymphoma had no progression with a watchful waiting approach. Conclusions: The majority of patients with non-follicular small and large intestinal PGINHLs are treated with both chemotherapy and surgery. Although surgery appears to be an important part of the treatment algorithm, definitive statements regarding its survival benefit remain limited due to lack of patient stratification based on timing and indication for surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)827-839
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Large intestine
  • Lymphoma
  • Outcomes
  • Small intestine
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology


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