Mantle Cell Lymphoma Treatment

lymphatic system

A cancer of the lymphatic system, which is a part of the body’s immune system, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) also is referred to as non-Hodgkin lymphoma or lymphoma. In this form of cancer, two types of white blood cells called B-lymphocytes (B-cells) and T-lymphocytes (T-cells) that work to fight off infections become cancerous. Approximately 65,000 new cases of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are expected to be diagnosed in 2010.1

There are many different forms of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which are typically classified by cell type (B-cell lymphomas or T-cell lymphomas) or rate of growth (aggressive/fast-growing or indolent/slow-growing).

Mantle Cell Lymphoma

Mantle cell lymphoma is an aggressive growing form of B-cell NHL that affects approximately 3,500 middle-aged or elderly people each year.2 This form of lymphoma is characterized by a genetic abnormality involving chromosomes 11 and 14, an overexpression of a protein called cyclin D1 and CD5-positive mantle B-cells.

Treatment options for mantle cell lymphoma may include one or more of the following treatment options:

Given intravenously or by mouth, a combination of four or five chemotherapy agents is usually given to treat mantle cell lymphoma. These chemotherapy regimens usually are combined with targeted therapy, Rituxan.
Targeted Therapies
These type of therapies are specifically designed to attack a particular target or component found on the surface of the lymphoma cells. They are referred to as monoclonal antibodies, because they are man-made versions of antibodies, or proteins that the body makes to fight off infections. Drugs such as Rituxan, Zevalin, and Bexxar are types of monoclonal antibodies that are used to treat mantle cell lymphoma. Zevalin and Bexxar also deliver doses of radiation directly to the tumor. The proteasome inhibitor, Velcade, which blocks the activity of proteins that are needed for cell growth, is also used to treat this form of lymphoma.
Stem Cell Transplantation
If the mantle cell lymphoma recurs after initial treatment, a stem cell transplant may be considered in some patients. This form of treatment occurs when high doses of chemotherapy or radiation are given to destroy bone marrow cells (where white blood cells develop) and then are replaced with healthy stem cells, which form new white blood cells, previously removed from the patient or a donor.


  1. National Cancer Institute. Non Hodgkin Lymphoma Cancer Home Page. Accessed on January 2, 2011.
  2. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Mantle Cell Lymphoma. Accessed on January 2, 2011.


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