Copyright ©The Author(s) 2016. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Hepatol. Jan 18, 2016; 8(2): 107-116
Published online Jan 18, 2016. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v8.i2.107
Hepatitis C virus and non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas: Meta-analysis of epidemiology data and therapy options
Gabriele Pozzato, Cesare Mazzaro, Luigino Dal Maso, Endri Mauro, Francesca Zorat, Giulia Moratelli, Pietro Bulian, Diego Serraino, Valter Gattei
Gabriele Pozzato, Francesca Zorat, Giulia Moratelli, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Trieste, 34100 Trieste, Italy
Cesare Mazzaro, Pietro Bulian, Valter Gattei, Department of Oncology-Haematology, Centro di Riferimento Oncologico, IRCCS, 33081 Aviano, Italy
Luigino Dal Maso, Diego Serraino, Epidemiology and Biostatistics Units, Centro di Riferimento Oncologico, IRCCS, 33081 Aviano, Italy
Endri Mauro, Department of Internal Medicine, Pordenone General Hospital, 33170 Pordenone, Italy
Author contributions: Pozzato G and Mazzaro C designed the paper; Dal Maso L and Serraino D analyzed the data and performed the statistics; Bulian P and Gattei V performed the research; Zorat F, Moratelli G and Pozzato G wrote the manuscript; all authors contributed to this manuscript.
Conflict-of-interest statement: Authors declare no conflict of interests for this article.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Correspondence to: Gabriele Pozzato, MD, Professor of Haematology, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Trieste, Piazza Ospedale 1, 34100 Trieste, Italy.
Telephone: +39-040-3992002 Fax: +39-040-3992560
Received: May 21, 2015
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.

Keywords: Hepatitis C virus, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Hepatitis C virus genotypes, Alpha-interferon

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.