• mantle cell lymphoma;
  • telomere length;
  • terminal restriction fragments


Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is a well defined lymphoid neoplasm genetically characterized by the t(11;14)(q13;q32). Telomeres play an essential role in preserving chromosomal integrity and genomic stability; their shortening can lead to telomere dysfunction and chromosomal instability, a critical factor in cancer development. In this study, telomere length (TL) measured by terminal restriction fragments (TRF) assay in DNA samples of tumor cells from 20 patients with MCL was evaluated. Results were correlated with clinical, morphologic and cytogenetic characteristics. In all cases, the presence of the CCND1/IGH@ rearrangement was confirmed by fluorescence in situ hybridization and/or PCR analysis. TL in total MCL patients revealed a mean TRF value (4.51 ± 0.79 kb) significantly shorter than those observed in controls (7.49 ± 1.94 kb) (< 0.001); 30% of patients had TL shorter than 4.0 kb. TRF length was not associated with patients age (= 0.07; = 0.17) nor with sex (females: 4.33 ± 0.51 kb and males: 4.57 ± 0.85 kb; = 0.63). No significant differences were found between patients studied at diagnosis (13) (4.44 ± 0.81 kb) respect to those analyzed at relapse (7) (4.63 ± 0.82 kb) (= 0.53). In addition, we compared patients with (4.84 ± 1.09 kb) and without (4.40 ± 0.68 kb) complex karyotypes (= 0.45) and cases with typical morphology (4.48 ± 0.79 kb) vs. blastoid variant (4.63 ± 1.04 kb) (= 0.83), and no significant differences between them were found. Although the number of cases of our series is not large, our results showed that TL reduction in MCL is independent of the clinical characteristics, morphology and karyotype.