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Multicentric Castleman Disease (MCD)

MCD is a very rare condition that affects multiple groups of lymph nodes and other organs containing lymphoid tissue, which plays a role in the body’s resistance against some forms of cancer. Lymphoid tissue is found in the lymph nodes, thymus gland, spleen, tonsils and adenoids, and bone marrow. MCD is usually referred to as a lymphoproliferative disorder, meaning there is an abnormal overgrowth of lymph nodes. The American Cancer Society describes MCD as a disease of the lymph nodes that acts similarly to lymphoma but is not actually a cancer. It explains that “people with MCD often have serious infections, fevers, weight loss, fatigue, night sweats, and nerve damage that can cause weakness and numbness…MCD can weaken the immune system severely, making it hard to fight infection. Infections in people with MCD can be very serious and may even lead to death.”

There is no standard therapy for MCD, and no single treatment works for all patients. Several types of treatment have been shown to help some patients. Bur because MCD is rare, it has been hard for doctors to compare different treatments against each other in clinical trials.

Treatment of Multicentric Castleman Disease, American Cancer Society (updated Jan.12, 2017), https://www.cancer.org/cancer/castleman-disease/treating/treating-multicentric.html

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