Baecklund E, Smedby KE, Sutton LA, Askling J, Rosenquist R
Semin. Cancer Biol. 24 (-) 61-70 [2014-02-00; online 2013-12-10]
For decades, it has been known that patients with certain autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS), have an increased risk of developing malignant lymphoma. Although the clinico-biological reasons for this association remain largely unknown, our knowledge has improved and new insights have been obtained. First, the direct link between autoimmunity and lymphomagenesis has been strengthened by large epidemiological studies showing a consistent risk increase of lymphoma associated with certain autoimmune/inflammatory conditions in independent cohorts from different countries. Second, a number of local and systemic disease-related risk factors in these diseases have been repeatedly linked to lymphoma development, with the prime examples being disease severity and the degree of inflammatory activity. Considering the key role of B- and T-cell activation in the pathogenesis of both autoimmunity and lymphoma, it is perhaps not surprising that longstanding chronic inflammation and/or antigen stimulation have emerged as major predisposing factors of lymphoma in patients with active autoimmune disease. Finally, increasing evidence suggests that lymphomas associated with autoimmunity constitute a different spectrum of entities compared to lymphomas arising in patients without any known autoimmune or inflammatory conditions, pointing to a different pathobiology. In this review, we summarize the recent literature that supports a direct or indirect link between immune-mediated disease and lymphoma and describe the characteristics of lymphomas developing in the different diseases. We also discuss molecular, genetic and microenvironmental factors that may come into play in the pathobiology of these disorders.