A new mantle cell lymphoma cell line, M-1, was established from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of a patient with a diagnosis of blastoid variant of mantle cell lymphoma in leukemic phase. This cell line showed cell surface antigens identical to the original tumor and demonstrated the profile of a mature B-cell phenotype typical of mantle cell lymphoma: positive for CD5, CD19, CD20, sIgM and FMC7, and negative for CD3, CD10 and CD23. Cytogenetically, the M-1 cell line showed chromosomal alterations similar to the initial clinical specimen, among which a translocation t(11;14) (q13;q32) resulting in the overexpression of cyclin D1 as well as additional abnormalities involving chromosomes 3, 9 and 10. This cell line was used as a model to investigate the activity of the three drugs doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide and vincristine, commonly used in the treatment of mantle cell lymphoma patients. The effect of the drugs was evaluated by a 24 h cytotoxicity test and a 7-days anti-proliferation test using a microculture tetrazolium-based assay (MTT). Both assays indicated a higher sensitivity of the cell line to vincristine when compared to doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide. The characterization of a new mantle cell lymphoma cell line is a unique tool for studying the biology of this subtype of lymphoma for which only a few cell lines have been established.