There is no consensus treatment for newly diagnosed mantle cell lymphoma. The CHOP + rituximab and hyperCVAD + rituximab regimens are most commonly used. The former is limited by relatively lower rates of complete remission (CR) and frequent relapses. The latter is limited by toxicities, especially in older patients, and relapses that occur later than those usually seen with CHOP + rituximab. Thus, improved therapies are needed. The purine analog cladribine (2-cda) + rituximab has been studied as an alternative frontline regimen in MCL and is quite active with minimal toxicity. Cladribine has epigenetic activity in that it inhibits DNA methylation. Cladribine + rituximab should be further studied in newly diagnosed mantle cell lymphoma in combination with new agents such as inhibitors of histone deacetylation, the mTOR pathway, and the proteasome.