The role of B cell antigen receptors in mantle cell lymphoma.

Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is characterized by an aggressive clinical course and secondary resistance to currently available therapies in most cases. Therefore, despite recent advances in the treatment of this disease, it is still considered to be incurable in the majority of cases. MCL B cells retain their B cell antigen receptor (BCR) expression during and after neoplastic transformation. BCRs in MCL show distinct patterns of antigen selection and ongoing BCR signaling. However, little is known about the involved antigens and the mechanisms leading to lymphomagenesis and lymphoma progression in MCL. Recent preclinical and clinical studies have established a crucial role of the BCR and the potential of inhibiting its signaling in this disease. This has established the B cell antigen receptor signaling cascade as a very promising therapeutic target to improve outcome in MCL alone or in combination with chemo-immunotherapy in recent years.