Disease Overview: Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM) is a lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma with immunoglobulin M (IgM) monoclonal protein. Clinical features include anemia, thrombocytopenia, hepatosplenomegaly, lymphadenopathy, and rarely hyperviscosity. Diagnosis: Presence of IgM monoclonal protein associated with ≥10% clonal lymphoplasmacytic cells in bone marrow confirms the diagnosis. The L265P mutation in MYD88 is detectable in >90% of patients and is found in the majority of IgM monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance patients. Risk Stratification: Age, hemoglobin level, platelet count, β2 microglobulin, and monoclonal IgM concentrations are characteristics that are predictive of outcomes. Risk-Adapted Therapy: Not all patients who fulfill WM criteria require therapy; these patients can be observed until symptoms develop. Rituximab-monotherapy is inferior to regimens that combine it with bendamustine, an alkylating agent, a proteosome inhibitor, or ibrutinib. Purine nucleoside analogs are active but usage is declining for less toxic alternatives. The preferred Mayo Clinic induction is rituximab and bendamustine. Potential for stem cell transplantation should be considered in selected younger patients. Management of Refractory Disease: Bortezomib, fludarabine, thalidomide, everolimus, ibrutinib, carfilzomib, lenalidomide, and bendamustine have all been shown to have activity in relapsed WM. Given WM's natural history, reduction of therapy toxicity is an important part of treatment selection.
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