Ocular adnexal lymphoma: clinical behavior of distinct World Health Organization classification subtypes

Author(s): Fung CY, Tarbell NJ, Lucarelli MJ, Goldberg SI, Linggood RM, et al.


Purpose:To evaluate the clinical behavior and treatment outcome of ocular adnexal lymphomas classified by the World Health Organization system, with emphasis on marginal zone lymphoma of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT).

Materials and methods:The clinicopathologic materials from 98 consecutive patients treated for ocular adnexal lymphoma were reviewed. Fourteen patients had prior lymphoma and 84 patients had primary disease (75% Stage I, 6% Stage III, and 19% Stage IV). Radiation (photons/electrons) was administered to 102 eyes to a median dose of 30.6 Gy. The mean follow-up was 82 months.

Results:The most common subtypes among the primary patients were MALT (57%) and follicular (18%) lymphoma. The 5-year actuarial local control rate in 102 irradiated eyes was 98%. Among the low-grade lymphomas, the 5-year local control rate correlated with the radiation dose in the MALT lymphoma subgroup (n = 53): 81% for <30 Gy and 100% for > or =30 Gy (p <0.01). For the non-MALT low-grade lymphomas such as follicular lymphoma (n = 30), the local control rate was 100% regardless of dose. For 39 Stage I MALT lymphoma patients treated with radiation alone, the distant relapse-free survival rate was 75% at 5 years and 45% at 10 years. Distant relapses were generally isolated and successfully salvaged by local therapy. The overall survival for this subgroup was 81% at 10 years, with no deaths from lymphoma.

Conclusions:Dose-response data suggest that the optimal radiation dose for MALT lymphoma of the ocular adnexa is 30.6-32.4 Gy in 1.8-Gy fractions and follicular lymphoma is adequately controlled with doses in the mid-20 Gy range. The substantial risk of distant relapse in Stage I ocular adnexal MALT lymphoma underscores the importance of long-term follow-up for this disease and the need for additional comparative studies of MALT lymphoma of different anatomic sites.

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