Ruth-Anne Langan Pai, collaborative research project lead for the Castleman Disease Collaborative Network (CDCN) , and a  PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania explains her award-winning study that was presented at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida.

The study involves phenotypic and transcriptional profiling of immune cells in idiopathic multicentric Castleman disease.

Castleman disease is a group of rare disorders characterized by lymph node enlargement, specific microscopic changes to the lymph nodes, and a range of symptoms and laboratory findings. There are 3 major types of Castleman disease: (1) unicentric Castleman disease, (2) HHV-8 positive multicentric Castleman disease, and (3) idiopathic multicentric Castleman disease.

A diagnosis can only be properly made with a lymph node biopsy but common symptoms that can lead to a diagnosis include:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Enlarged liver or spleen
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Cherry hemangiomas skin rash
  • Edema, ascites and/or other symptoms of fluid overload
  • Kidney dysfunction

To learn more about this and other rare hematologic conditions, visit

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