Published online Jan 21, 2014. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i3.684
Revised: November 19, 2013
Accepted: December 5, 2013
Published online: January 21, 2014
Core tip: Mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphomas are indolent B-cell lymphomas, originating in acquired MALT induced as a response to a chronic immunoinflammatory stimulus, notably infection by Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). Antigenic stimulation determines lymphoid hyperplasia; additional genetic aberrations activate survival pathways, with the emergence of a malignant clone. The digestive system (predominantly the stomach) is the most frequent location, reflecting contact with foreign antigens, mucosal permeability and intrinsic lymphoid system. Early-stage gastric MALT lymphoma can regress through the eradication of H. pylori. Immortalizing genetic abnormalities, advanced disease or eradication-refractoriness require treatment alternatives, presently not consensual. Representative clinical trials are needed to optimize patient care.