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Effect of a Gluten-free Diet on the Risk of Enteropathy-associated T-cell Lymphoma in Celiac Disease


Patients with celiac disease have an increased rate of enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma, but conflicting data are available about the protective role of a gluten-free diet with regard to the development of this malignancy. We followed 1,757 celiac patients for a total period of 31,801 person-years, collecting data about the frequency of gluten intake and the incidence of the enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma. Out of the nine celiac patients who developed an intestinal lymphoma [standard morbidity ratio of 6.42 (95% CI = 2.9–12.2; P < 0.001)], only two kept a strict gluten-free diet after the diagnosis of celiac diasese and developed the malignancy after the peridiagnosis period of 3 years, dropping therefore the standard morbidity ratio to 0.22 (95%CI = 0.02–0.88; P < 0.001). The risk of developing an intestinal lymphoma for the celiac patients that used to have dietary gluten was significant (X= 4.8 P = 0.01). These results show that a strict gluten-free diet is protective towards the development of enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma.

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Correspondence to Marco Silano.

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Cattedra di Medicina Interna II, Univ. Cattolica, Roma, G.Gasbarrini, M.D., V. De Vitis, M.D.; Dipartimento di Pediatria, Univ. Federico II, Napoli, L. Greco, M.D., S. Auricchio, M.D.; Ospedale per gli infermi di Faenza-Azienda USL di Ravenna, D.Santini, M.D., F. Scaggiante M., M.D., Vincenzi M., Federici M.D.; Istituto Giannina Gaslini, Pediatria III, Genova, E. Castellano, M.D., A.Calvi, M.D.; Cattedra di Gastroenterologia, Dipartimento di Medicina Interna, Univ. Torino, Sategna-Guidetti, S. Grosso; Unità di Gastroenterologia, IRCCS Policlinico S. Matteo, Univ. Pavia, Campanella J., M.D., Corazza G.R., M.D.; Unita’ Operativa di Nutrizione Clinica, Ospedale S. Eugenio, Roma, G. Sandri, M.D., G. Giorgetti, M.D.; Monica Amici, Dipartimento di Medicina Interna, Policlinico S. Orsola-Malpighi, Bologna, U. Volta, M.D., C. Parisi, M.D.; Servizio di Gastroenterologia ed Endoscopia Digestiva, Ospedale USL 9, Treviso, S. Lo Perfido, M.D., ; Divisione di Gastroenterologia, IRCCS Casa Sollievo Sofferenza, San Giovanni Rotondo, Foggia, F. Perri, M.D., V. Festa M.D.,; Clinica di Gastroenterologia ed Epatologia, Univ. Perugia, M.A. Pelli, M.D., M.L. Cavalletti M.D.,; Unità Operativa di Gastroenterologia ed Endoscopia Digestiva, Ospedale di Circolo e Fondazione Macchi, Varese, S. Segato, M.D., M. Curzio M.D.,; Servizio di Gastroenterologia ed Endoscopia Digestiva, Dipartimento Oncologia, Ospedale S. Giovanni AS, Torino, M. Pennazio M.D.,, F.P. Rossini, M.D.; Cattedra di Gastroenterologia, Ist. di Clinica Medica II, Univ. La Sapienza, Roma, A. Picarelli M.D.; Divisione di Gastroenterologia, Ospedale Mauriziano Umberto I, Torino, A. Pera, M.D., E. Ercole M.D.; Unità Operativa di Gastroenterologia, di Patofisiologia Clinica, Univ. Pol. “Careggi” Firenze, M.T. Passaleva; Clinica Pediatrica, Servizio di Gastroenterologia, Univ. La Sapienza, Roma, M. Barbato M.D.,; Istituto di Medicina Interna, Univ. Cagliari, P. Usai M.D.,, M.F. Dore M.D.,; Divisione di Gastroenterologia, Ospedale Regionale, Bolzano, F.Chilovi, M.D., L. Piazzi, M.D. L.Zancanella M.D., and Servizio di Gastroenterologia Pediatrica e Servizio di Gastroenterologia, Univ. Modena, V. Boarino, M.D., A. Ferrari M.D.

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Silano, M., Volta, U., Vincenzi, A.D. et al. Effect of a Gluten-free Diet on the Risk of Enteropathy-associated T-cell Lymphoma in Celiac Disease. Dig Dis Sci 53, 972–976 (2008).

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