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Waldenstrom Ma. Myeloma

Mantle cell lymphoma

Figure 1. A rough draft of the B-cell pathway and its related malignant B-lymphoproliferative disorders.

The taxonomy of these B-cell malignancies, which was recently revised in the European-American classification from 1994 [8], makes a practical distinction between low-, intermediate- and high-grade malignancies depending on the growth rates of the tumor cells in each disorder (Table 1). In the low-grade end of the spectrum we find the follicular and small cell lymphomas, multiple myelomas, Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia and chronic lymphocytic leukemia, while large cell and lymphoblastic lymphomas as well as acute lymphoblastic leukemia are considered high-grade, rapidly growing malignancies. Autoantibody production is common in patients with low-grade B-cell malignancies, and some of these patients exhibit clinical signs of autoimmune disease (see below).

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