Published online Jan 18, 2016. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v8.i2.107
Peer-review started: May 22, 2015
First decision: July 10, 2015
Revised: October 9, 2015
Accepted: December 7, 2015
Article in press: December 8, 2015
Published online: January 18, 2016
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a global health problem affecting a large fraction of the world’s population: This virus is able to determine both hepatic and extrahepatic diseases. Mixed cryoglobulinemia, a B-cell “benign” lymphoproliferative disorders, represents the most closely related as well as the most investigated HCV-related extrahepatic disorder. Since this virus is able to determine extrahepatic [non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL)] as well as hepatic malignancies (hepatocellular carcinoma), HCV has been included among human cancer viruses. The most common histological types of HCV-associated NHL are the marginal zone, the lymphoplasmacytic and diffuse large cell lymphomas. The role of the HCV in the pathogenesis of the B-cell lymphoproliferative disorders is confirmed also by the responsiveness of the NHL to antiviral therapy. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the recent literature and a meta analysis of the epidemiology data, to explain the role of HCV in the development of NHL’s lymphoma. Furthermore, the possibility to treat these HCV-related NHL with the antiviral therapy or with other therapeutic options, like chemotherapy, is also discussed.
Core tip: The goal of this article is to review the epidemiological data from different countries to perform an up-to-date meta-analysis of the risk to developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected patients. Finally, we highlighted the clinical and the biological data necessary to optimize the cure of the patients affected by HCV-positive non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas.