Biology, prognosis, and therapy of Waldenström Macroglobulinemia

Cancer Treat Res. 2015:165:177-95. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-13150-4_7.


Waldenström Macroglobulinemia (WM) is a rare B-cell lymphoma characterized by the uncontrolled accumulation of malignant lymphoplasmacytic cells, mainly in the bone marrow, and monoclonal IgM production. Despite its rarity, our understanding of the biology of this disease has improved significantly in recent years with the identification of recurrent mutations in the MYD88 and CXCR4 genes. Based on the diversity of clinical features observed in WM patients, therapy should be highly personalized having into account several factors such as age, co-morbidities, IgM levels, and presence of hyperviscosity, coagulopathy, cryoglobulinemia, or cold agglutinin disease. In this chapter, we review the recent advances in the biology of WM and the current therapeutic options for untreated and relapsed WM patients. Finally, we discuss the role of prognostic factors and current evidence supporting an improvement in the survival of WM patients in the last decade.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenine / analogs & derivatives
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Boronic Acids / therapeutic use
  • Bortezomib
  • Everolimus
  • Humans
  • Piperidines
  • Prognosis
  • Proteasome Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Pyrazines / therapeutic use
  • Pyrazoles / therapeutic use
  • Pyrimidines / therapeutic use
  • Salvage Therapy
  • Sirolimus / analogs & derivatives
  • Sirolimus / therapeutic use
  • Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia / etiology
  • Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia / mortality*
  • Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia / therapy*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Boronic Acids
  • Piperidines
  • Proteasome Inhibitors
  • Pyrazines
  • Pyrazoles
  • Pyrimidines
  • ibrutinib
  • Bortezomib
  • Everolimus
  • Adenine
  • ofatumumab
  • Sirolimus