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Cancer Control. 2014 Oct;21(4):266-78.

Diagnosis and management of Castleman disease.

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Center for Lymphoma, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston, MA 02114, USA.



Castleman disease is an uncommon lymphoproliferative disorder characterized as either unicentric or multicentric. Unicentric Castleman disease (UCD) is localized and carries an excellent prognosis, whereas multicentric Castleman disease (MCD) is a systemic disease occurring most commonly in the setting of HIV infection and is associated with human herpesvirus 8. MCD has been associated with considerable morbidity and mortality, and the therapeutic landscape for its management continues to evolve.


The available medical literature on UCD and MCD was reviewed. The clinical presentation and pathological diagnosis of Castleman disease was reviewed, along with associated disorders such as certain malignancies and autoimmune complications.


Surgical resection remains the standard therapy for UCD, while systemic therapies are required for the management of MCD. Rituximab monotherapy is the mainstay of therapy; however, novel therapies targeting interleukin 6 may represent a treatment option in the near future. Antiviral strategies as well as single-agent and combination chemotherapy with glucocorticoids are established systemic therapies. The management of Castleman disease also requires careful attention to potential concomitant infections, malignancies, and associated syndromes.


UCD and MCD constitute uncommon but well-defined clinicopathologic entities. Although UCD is typically well controlled with local therapy, MCD continues to pose formidable challenges in management. We address historical chemotherapy-based approaches to this disease as well as recently developed targeted therapies, including rituximab and siltuximab, that have improved the outcome for newly diagnosed patients. Ongoing research into the management of MCD is needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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