Kiesewetter B and Raderer M. Hematol Oncol 2020.
The pathogenesis of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma has been characterized as a dynamic process driven by lymphoma cell dependency on T-cell signalling, chronic antigenic stimulation of marginal zone B-cells and activation of the NF-kappa B signalling pathway. This concept is underlined by the strong causal connection of chronic Helicobacter pylori associated gastritis and MALT lymphoma development based on perpetual auto-antigenic stimulation of Helicobacter pylori-specific
T-cells, but also its association with further potential infectious triggers and autoimmune disorders for extragastric lymphoma sites. Thus, given the dependency of MALT lymphoma cells on the tumor microenvironment, this specific entity appears highly suitable for immunomodulatory treatment strategies. Several approaches have been assessed in the last years including promising data on immunomodulatory agents "IMiDs" thalidomide and lenalidomide, macrolide antibiotics and antibodies. The aim of the present review is to discuss rationales for immunomodulatory therapies in MALT lymphoma and to present the statu quo on immunomodulatory and therefore chemotherapy-free treatment strategies for these patients. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.