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Mantle cell lymphoma

Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is a rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). It is a malignant condition (cancer) affecting a type of white blood cells called lymphocytes.

Unlike leukaemia, in lymphoma, the cancer cells are found in organs and tissues of the lymphatic system although in mantle cell lymphoma it can occasionally start from the bone marrow. The lymphatic system is a network of fine vessels, glands and channels which occur throughout the body. It also conveys nutrients and cells, and is responsible for draining fluid and waste products away from tissues, and into the blood stream to be processed. The lymphatic system is an important part of the immune system and is made up of lymph nodes and vessels and of collections of lymphocytes in other tissues.

Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is a heterogeneous disorder but in the majority of the cases it behaves like a high-grade form of NHL. This means that it develops quickly and, if not treated, it grows quickly. Mantle cell describes the type of lymphocyte which is affected.

  • Published: Mar 2017
  • Next planned review: Mar 2019