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Mantle Cell Lymphoma: General Overview

Author: Sally Rider

Published: 2009-04-04 : (Rev. 2019-05-13)

Synopsis and Key Points:

Mantle Cell Lymphoma MCL is an aggressive type of B-cell non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Mantle Cell Lymphoma is an aggressive type of B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

MCL diagnosis is obtained by pathologic review of a lymph node biopsy and/or bone marrow specimen.

Main Digest

Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL) is an aggressive (fast-growing) type of B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin's lymphomas are related malignancies (cancers) that affect the lymphatic system (lymphomas).

It is marked by small to medium-size cancer cells that may be in the lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, blood, and gastrointestinal system.

Alternate Names:

MCL is a B-cell lymphoma that develops from malignant B-lymphocytes within a region of the lymph node known as the "mantle zone."

MCL results from errors in the production of a lymphocyte or transformation of a lymphocyte into a malignant cell.

Abnormal, uncontrolled growth and multiplication (proliferation) of malignant lymphocytes may lead to:

The specific symptoms and physical findings may vary from case to case, depending upon the extent and region(s) of involvement and other factors.

MCL primarily affects men over the age of 50 years.

Many affected individuals have widespread disease at diagnosis, with involved regions often including multiple lymph nodes, the spleen, and, potentially, the bone marrow, the liver, and/or regions of the digestive (gastrointestinal) tract.

MCL diagnosis is obtained by pathologic review of a lymph node biopsy and/or bone marrow specimen. This usually includes flow cytometry testing and chromosomal analysis which show CD5-positive cells, cyclin D1 protein over-expression, and translocation of chromosomes 11 and 14.

The treatment is chemotherapy but the exact regimen of drugs may vary. Refractoriness to chemotherapy is usual and unfortunately, high-dose stem cell transplants have not shown an overall survival benefit.

Classical MCL is characterized by an extremely poor prognosis. This cancer has the shortest average survival of all lymphoma types. Long-time survivors are rare, only very few patients with an overall survival over 10 years have been reported.

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