Colorectal Lymphoma: A Contemporary Case Series

Steven J. Skube, Elliot G. Arsoniadis, Megan L. Sulciner, Scott R. Gilles, Wolfgang B. Gaertner, Robert D. Madoff, Genevieve B. Melton, Bruce A. Peterson, Mary R. Kwaan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


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

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)694-702
Number of pages9
JournalDiseases of the colon and rectum
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. All rights reserved.


  • Cecal tumor
  • Colon lymphoma
  • Colon perforation
  • Gastrointestinal lymphoma
  • Posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Male
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis
  • Lymphoma/diagnosis
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Aged
  • Retrospective Studies

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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