Treatment of mantle cell lymphoma depends very much on both the underlying health of the patient as well as the staging of the illness.
Some patients will have several courses of chemotherapy, however not all patients will require such intensive treatment. Some patients may not need to be treated straight away and are simply monitored for symptoms. This is called the 'watch & wait' approach.
There are a variety of treatments available for patients with MCL. Some are given intravenously, through a vein; others may come in the form of a tablet or capsule.
The way these treatments are given is not necessarily an indication of how 'strong' or effective they are. Not all treatments are suitable for use at all stages of MCL – some are only given after others have already been tried.
Many of the treatments for MCL will come with some side effects; your clinical team will discuss this with you before you start your treatment. It is worth bearing in mind that the course of the illness varies from person to person, a treatment that suits one person may not suit another. In the same way, side effects of treatments vary from person to person.
New drugs are being discovered and developed all the time, although these processes take considerable time. Here in Plymouth we are involved in exploring new treatments for mantle cell lymphoma.
One option for treatment is to take part in a clinical trial. Some research studies may simply ask to store some of your tissue to help with future investigations into MCL – these samples would be the ones taken at the time of diagnosis. Others will involve complex care pathways that include novel agents (drugs).
The Lymphoma Association have produced a really helpful document for patients with Mantle cell Lymphoma, you can download this here: