Mantle cell lymphoma is a subtype of B-cell or B-Lymphocyte lymphoma categorized under Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. This type of lymphoma is due to a malignant transformation of the B-cells. These B-cells are part of the immune system and responsible for destroying microorganisms that invade the body. The disease got its name for the malignant B-cells are often found in the mantle zone of the lymph node. Under morphological studies, this would present as a non-aggressive type of lymphoma. However, mantle cell lymphoma is an aggressive type of B-cell lymphoma and the malignancy can spread quickly in the body.
Mantle cell lymphoma is a rare-type of Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Comprising about 7% of the patients belonging in this category, it is commonly found in age groups above 60 years old. This type of lymphoma is manifested by swollen, non-tender lymph nodes located in the throat, and can involve other nodes such as the ones located near the collar bone, the armpits, chests, and groin. The malignant cells can also metastasize in the spleen and liver, giving the sensation of a full, distended abdomen. Fatigue in this condition is due to anemia because of spleen and bone marrow involvement may also be observed, as well as unexplained fever and weight loss. Gastric symptoms such as nausea and vomiting can also be observed.
Treatment for mantle cell lymphoma is given depending on the current stage of malignancy and metastasis. Rituximab is used to help the immune system look for the malignant cells and destroy them, with the help of Interferon given as an immune system booster. R-CHOP in combination with Rituximab and a steroid is commonly given as a form of chemotherapy that aims in destroying the cancer cells. In Stage I and Stage II phase it is treated with a local radiation therapy with or without the aid of chemotherapeutic agents. To help the body recover, stem cell therapy such as bone marrow transplant is done as an aggressive form of treatment when the disease is at the later stage.
Research is still being conducted on ways to treat mantle cell lymphoma without suffering from too much side effects. The MCL Consortium is a group of physicians dedicated to battling this disease. Their website has mantle cell lymphoma resources for researchers and patients designed to help people understand this malignancy as well as group together patients and survivors to form a support group.
Need to learn more about Lymphoma? Be sure to check out Lymphoma Symptoms which contains in-depth information on Mantle Cell Lymphoma symptoms, causes, treatment and much more.