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Older white men are most likely to be diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma

Research Activities, February 2009, No. 349

Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is a type of non-Hodgkins lymphoma (NHL) and accounts for 6 percent of all NHLs. This incurable, aggressive cancer is found in lymph nodes above and below the diaphragm and attacks the gastrointestinal tract and bone marrow. MCL typically does not cause symptoms until it has progressed, so it is usually found at Stage IV. Doctors treat it with chemotherapy, after which it usually grows. The median survival time is just 3 years.

Researchers at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center used 1992 to 2004 data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Tumor registry to report MCL incidence trends by race, gender, age, and geographic areas. In a sample of 2,459 patients, the authors found an upswing in incidence for white men over 50. The highest age-adjusted incidence rate was for those aged 70 to 79. The greatest gain in incidence rates was seen in patients with stage III and IV disease, which accounted for nearly three quarters of MCL patients. The author suggests this finding indicates MCL early diagnosis is a challenge for the medical community.

In 2004, men contracted MCL two times more than women. Whites (.61) had the highest age-adjusted incidence compared with blacks (.32) and other ethnicities (.27). For the 13 SEER geographic regions, Seattle (.67), Iowa (.64), and Utah (.63) had the highest age-adjusted incidence rates; Alaska (.10) had the lowest.

Because study data ended at 2004, the authors do not consider the new, effective biologic treatments for MCL that have been tested and approved since then. They suggest that further studies using 2004 to 2007 data may be needed to get a more current picture of incidence rates. This study was funded in part by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (HS16743).

See "Incidence trends of mantle cell lymphoma in the United States between 1992 and 2004," by Yuhong Zhou, M.D., Haijun Wang, M.D., Ph.D., Wenjing Fang, M.D., and others in the August 15, 2008, Cancer 13(4), pp. 791-798.

Current as of February 2009
Internet Citation: Older white men are most likely to be diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma: Research Activities, February 2009, No. 349. February 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://archive.ahrq.gov/news/research-activities/feb09/0209RA16.html