Mantle cell lymphoma

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2020 Sep:153:103038. doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2020.103038. Epub 2020 Jul 4.


MCL is a well-characterized generally aggressive lymphoma with a poor prognosis. However, patients with a more indolent disease have been reported in whom the initiation of therapy can be delayed without any consequence for the survival. In 2017 the World Health Organization updated the classification of MCL describing two main subtypes with specific molecular characteristics and clinical features, classical and indolent leukaemic nonnodal MCL. Recent research results suggested an improving outcome of this neoplasm. The addition of rituximab to conventional chemotherapy has increased overall response rates, but it did not improve overall survival compared to chemotherapy alone. The use of intensive frontline therapies including rituximab and consolidation with autologous stem cell transplantation ameliorated response rate and prolonged progression-free survival in young fit patients, but any impact on survival remains to be proven. Furthermore, the optimal timing, cytoreductive regimen and conditioning regimen, and the clinical implications of achieving a disease remission even at molecular level remain to be elucidated. The development of targeted therapies as the consequence of better understanding of pathogenetic pathways in MCL might improve the outcome of conventional chemotherapy and spare the toxicity of intense therapy in most patients. Cases not eligible for intensive regimens, may be considered for less demanding therapies, such as the combination of rituximab either with CHOP or with purine analogues, or bendamustine. Allogeneic SCT can be an effective option for relapsed disease in patients who are fit enough and have a compatible donor. Maintenance rituximab may be considered after response to immunochemotherapy as the first-line strategy in a wide range of patients. Finally, since the optimal approach to the management of MCL is still evolving, it is critical that these patients are enrolled in clinical trials to identify the better treatment options.

Keywords: Classical and indolent MCL; MRD monitoring; Maintenance; Targeted therapies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, Mantle-Cell*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Prognosis
  • Rituximab
  • Transplantation, Autologous


  • Rituximab