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B cell

B cell malignancies

B cell malignancies

Oncology - B cell malignancies

We understand how devastating a cancer diagnosis is for patients and their loved ones. Blood cancers are complex diseases but there is hope: we are fully committed to fighting this illness and to developing cutting-edge, personalised treatments with reduced side effects that can both improve quality of life and prolong the duration of remission.

Our Focus in Haematology: B Cell Malignancies


B cells are a type of white blood cell (lymphocyte) that are part of the immune system and play an important role in fighting infection in the body. Usually, the body makes new lymphocytes only when they are needed to replace old cells that have died. In B cell malignancies, these cells malfunction, and become malignant. This means they grow when the body doesn’t need them and reproduce at an abnormal rate. [1]

There are many different types of B cell malignancies. At Janssen, we are focused on three main types: Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), Waldenström’s macroglobulinaemia (WM) and mantle cell lymphoma (MCL).

Group of human B-cells

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL)

CLL is the most common leukaemia in adults. It is generally a slow-growing blood cancer, in which the bone marrow makes too many lymphocytes. CLL patients usually don’t have any symptoms for at least a few years, but over time the cells grow and spread to other parts of the body, including the lymph nodes, liver and spleen.[2][3][4]

Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinaemia (WM)

WM is a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), affecting two types of B cells: lymphoplasmacytoid cells and plasma cells. WM is characterised by having high levels of a circulating antibody, immunoglobulin M (IgM), which is made and secreted by the cells involved in the disease. Each antibody (protein) made by the WM cells is the same, so it is called a monoclonal protein (M protein). The build-up of this M protein in the body can lead to many of the symptoms of WM, including excess bleeding, problems with vision, and nervous system problems.[5]

Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL)

MCL is typically an aggressive, rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) that develops from abnormal B lymphocytes. It is called ‘mantle cell’ because the abnormal B lymphocytes come from an area called the ‘mantle zone’ in lymph nodes (glands).[6] The abnormal B lymphocytes start to collect in the lymph nodes or body organs. They can then form tumours and begin to cause problems within the lymphatic system or the organ where they are growing.[7]

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