Marginal Zone Lymphoma (MZL)

Marginal Zone Lymphoma (MZL)

Marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) is a type of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). It is usually slow-growing and can affect the lymph nodes, spleen, and other organs. Its cells have an unusual structure which distinguishes them from other B cell lymphomas.

MZL is more common in people older than 50 years of age and is most common in women. There are three types of MZL: splenic marginal zone lymphoma, nodal marginal zone lymphoma and mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma .

Signs and Symptoms of MZL

Signs and symptoms of MZL vary depending on which type of MZL patient has. Generally, symptoms may include:

  • Painless enlarged lymph nodes
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Weight loss
  • Night sweats
  • Fatigue

Causes of MZL

The exact cause of MZL is unknown. It appears that it may be related to viral or bacterial infections, as these are often present with MZL. Other factors, such as chemical exposure, immunodeficiency, or genetic factors may also play a role.

Diagnosis of MZL

Diagnosis of MZL is made through a combination of physical exam and assessment of symptoms, imaging tests, laboratory tests such as a complete blood count, and tissue biopsy.

Treatment of MZL

Treatment of MZL depends on the type of MZL, its location, and whether it has spread. Common treatments include chemotherapy and/or targeted therapies, with surgery and radiation used if necessary. In many cases, treatment may not be needed if the MZL has not spread.