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Mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma

Mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (MLBCL) is a rare type of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

It affects lymph nodes in the mediastinum, which is the central part of the chest, between the lungs. The mediastinum contains many vital organs, including the heart, gullet (oesophagus), windpipe (trachea) and major blood vessels.

Lymphoma 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. 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.

MLBCL is a high-grade form of NHL, this means that it develops quickly and, if not treated, it grows quickly.

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