Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), described almost 3 decades ago as centrocytic lymphoma and by a variety of other names, was initially recognized morphologically. MCL is a classic illustration of how the field of hematopathology and our basic understanding of neoplasia have evolved. The advent of immunophenotypic and increasingly sophisticated genotypic and cytogenetic studies, together with clinical investigations, have led to a better practical and biologic understanding of MCL and have broader implications as well. MCL is now recognized as an aggressive, difficult to treat, B-cell lymphoma with a broader morphologic spectrum than was initially appreciated and a characteristic phenotype (CD5+, CD10-, CD23-, FMC7+). Virtually all MCLs carry the translocation t(11;14)(q13;q32) with overexpression of the involved CCND1 (cyclin D1) gene. Additional cytogenetic and molecular abnormalities have been identified, including some that are early events (such as ATM gene deletion and mutation) and others that appear to be late events (such as deletions and mutations in the negative cell cycle regulatory elements p53, p16, and p18). The latter are often associated with a blastoid morphology and more aggressive clinical course. Ongoing clinical and basic investigations including microarray analysis will undoubtedly provide additional insights into MCL and perhaps more effective and specific therapeutic modalities.
Copyright 2002 by W.B. Saunders Company