High-risk mantle cell lymphoma in the era of novel agents


Advocate Lutheran General Hospital


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is a heterogenous disease with a variety of morphologic and genetic features, some of which are associated with high risk disease. Here we critically analyze the current state of the understanding of MCL's biology and its implications in therapy, with a focus on chemotherapy-free and targeted therapy regimens.

RECENT FINDINGS: Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is a rare subtype of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, defined by a hallmark chromosomal translocation t(11;14) which leads to constitutive expression of cyclin D1. Recent discoveries in the biology of MCL have identified a number of factors, including TP53 mutations and complex karyotype, that lead to unresponsiveness to traditional chemoimmunotherapy and poor outcomes. Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitors, BH3-mimetics and other novel agents thwart survival of the neoplastic B-cells in a manner independent of high-risk mutations and have shown promising activity in relapsed/refractory MCL. These therapies are being investigated in the frontline setting, while optimal responses to chemotherapy-free regimens, particularly in high-risk disease, might require combination approaches. High-risk MCL does not respond well to chemoimmunotherapy. Targeted agents are highly active in the relapsed refractory setting and show promise in high-risk disease. Novel approaches may soon replace the current standard of care in both relapsed and frontline settings.

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