Mantle Cell Lymphoma: New Approaches are “Exploding,” Doctor Says

According to a story from, patients living with mantle cell lymphoma, a rare form of blood cancer that makes up only around six percent of diagnosed non-Hodgkin lymphoma cases per year in the US, should be aware that treatment options for the disease have entered a period of rapid expansion. Dr. Lori A. Leslie elaborated in an interview with OncLive about how research in this disease has progressed recently.

About Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL)

Mantle cell lymphoma is a rare type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. There are only about 15,000 patients in the US. This blood cancer affects B-cells, a type of white blood cell. The risk factors for this type of lymphoma are not particularly well known; however, acquired genetic mutations in the affected cells are what eventually causes them to become malignant. Most patients are diagnosed in their 60s. In many cases, the disease is not diagnosed until it has reached an advanced stage. Symptoms include fever, night sweats, enlarged spleen and lymph nodes, and weight loss. Treatment options include immunotherapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapies. The disease often relapses after treatment with chemotherapy. Prognosis is difficult to predict; the five year survival rate is 50 percent, but this figure improves to 70 percent with limited-stage disease. To learn more about mantle cell lymphoma, click here.

Signs of Hope

Dr. Leslie says that due to the pace of developments in mantle cell lymphoma treatment and research, much of the information out there for patients is outdated, even if it is just a couple of years old:

“Outcomes are getting better all the time. So, a lot of what you’re reading about from a few years ago is dismal in some situations, and really not relevant to the current treatment landscape.” – Dr. Lori A. Leslie

Being diagnosed with any type of lymphoma, especially a variant as uncommon and aggressive as mantle cell, is a daunting and frightening scenario for anyone. However, a single discovery or new medication is all it takes for disease outcomes to improve, and recently the prognosis for this cancer is getting better. 

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