Waldenström macroglobulinemia: 2023 update on diagnosis, risk stratification, and management

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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 more than 90% of patients and is found in most IgM MGUS patients. MYD88 is not required for the diagnosis. Risk Stratification: Age, hemoglobin level, platelet count, β2 microglobulin, LDH, 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 a BTK inhibitor. The preferred Mayo Clinic induction is either rituximab and bendamustine (without rituximab maintenance) or zanubrutinib. Management of Refractory Disease: Bortezomib, cyclophosphamide, fludarabine, thalidomide, everolimus, Bruton Tyrosine Kinase inhibitors, carfilzomib, lenalidomide, bendamustine, and venetoclax have all been shown to have activity in relapsed WM. Given WM's natural history, the reduction of therapy toxicity is an important part of treatment selection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-358
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican journal of hematology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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