What is Castleman's disease?
Castleman disease, also known as giant or angiofollicular lymph node hyperplasia, lymphoid hamartoma, angiofollicular lymph node hyperplasia, is a group of uncommon lymphoproliferative disorders that share common lymph node histological features that may be localized to a single lymph node (unicentric) or occur systemically (multicentric). It is named after Benjamin Castleman.
Multicentric Castleman disease (MCD) involves hyperactivation of the immune system, excessive release of proinflammatory chemicals (cytokines), proliferation of immune cells (B cells and T cells), and multiple organ system dysfunction. Castleman disease must be distinguished from other disorders that can demonstrate "Castleman-like" lymph node features, including reactive lymph node hyperplasia, autoimmune disorders, and malignancies. While not officially considered a cancer, the overgrowth of lymphocytes with this disease is similar to lymphoma and more research is needed to search for small populations of neoplastic cells. Castleman disease is a focus of intense ongoing research.