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Colorectal Lymphoma

A Contemporary Case Series

Skube, Steven J., M.D.1; Arsoniadis, Elliot G., M.D.1,2; Sulciner, Megan L., B.S.3; Gilles, Scott R., M.D.4; Gaertner, Wolfgang B., M.D., M.Sc.5; Madoff, Robert D., M.D.5; Melton, Genevieve B., M.D., Ph.D.2,5; Peterson, Bruce A., M.D.6; Kwaan, Mary R., M.D., M.P.H.7

Diseases of the Colon & Rectum: June 2019 - Volume 62 - Issue 6 - p 694–702
doi: 10.1097/DCR.0000000000001373
Original Contributions: Colorectal Cancer
Denotes Associated Video Abstract
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BACKGROUND: Colon and rectal lymphomas are rare and can occur in the context of posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder. Evidence-based management guidelines are lacking.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to characterize the presentation, diagnosis, and management of colorectal lymphoma and to identify differences within the transplant population.

DESIGN: This was a retrospective review of patients evaluated for colorectal lymphoma between 2000 and 2017. Patients were identified through clinical note queries.

SETTINGS: Four hospitals within a single health system were included.

PATIENTS: Fifty-two patients (64% men; mean age = 64 y; range, 26–91 y) were identified. No patient had <3 months of follow-up. Eight patients (15%) had posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Overall survival, recurrence, and complications in treatment pathway were measured.

RESULTS: Most common presentations were rectal bleeding (27%), abdominal pain (23%), and diarrhea (23%). The most common location was the cecum (62%). Most frequent histologies were diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (48%) and mantle cell lymphoma (25%). Posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder occurred in the cecum (n = 4) and rectum (n = 4). Twenty patients (38%) were managed with chemotherapy; 25 patients (48%) underwent primary resection. Mass lesions had a higher risk of urgent surgical resection (35% vs 8%; p = 0.017). Three patients (15%) treated with chemotherapy presented with perforation requiring emergency surgery. Overall survival was 77 months (range, 25–180 mo). Patients with cecal involvement had longer overall survival (96 vs 26 mo; p = 0.038); immunosuppressed patients had shorter survival (16 vs 96 mo; p = 0.006). Survival in patients treated with surgical management versus chemotherapy was similar (67 vs 105 mo; p = 0.62).

LIMITATIONS: This was a retrospective chart review, with data limited by the contents of the medical chart. This was a small sample size.

CONCLUSIONS: Colorectal lymphoma is rare, with variable treatment approaches. Patients with noncecal involvement and chronic immunosuppression had worse overall survival. Patients with mass lesions, particularly cecal masses, are at higher risk to require urgent intervention, and primary resection should be considered. See Video Abstract at

1 Department of Surgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota

2 Institute for Health Informatics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota

3 Medical School, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota

4 Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota

5 Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota

6 Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation, Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota

7 Department of Surgery, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California

Funding/Support: None reported.

Financial Disclosure: None reported.

Poster presentation at the meeting of The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, Nashville, TN, May 19 to 23, 2018.

Correspondence: Steven J. Skube, M.D., 420 Delaware St SE, Mayo Mail Code 195, Minneapolis, MN 55455. E-mail:

© 2019 The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons