Mantle cell lymphoma: natural history defined in a serially biopsied population over a 20-year period.
Norton AJ., Matthews J., Pappa V., Shamash J., Love S., Rohatiner AZ., Lister TA.
BACKGROUND: The histological, immunological and molecular characteristics of mantle cell lymphoma have only recently been delineated. Amongst these characteristics possible factors of prognostic significance include histological growth pattern and blastoid change. PATIENTS AND METHODS: 66 previously untreated cases of mantle cell lymphoma were identified in a retrospective analysis. In 50 cases serial biopsies had been taken during the disease and in 20 cases autopsies had been performed. Besides established factors of prognostic significance, histological growth pattern and blastoid change were examined. RESULTS: 32 patients achieved an initial complete remission or good partial remission with most cases relapsing or progressing within 2 years. The median survival was 36 months. Factors predicting a poor outcome were high presenting stage, age > 70, low sodium, low albumin and splenomegaly. Blastoid transformation was also a poor prognostic feature, occurring in 32% of cases during life and in 70% of autopsies. Histological growth pattern had no influence on outcome. CONCLUSION: This study emphasises the difficulties in treating mantle cell lymphoma and the high frequency and prognostic importance of histological transformation.