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JOURNAL ARTICLE

How I treat Waldenström macroglobulinemia

Steven P Treon
Blood 2015 August 6, 126 (6): 721-32
26002963
Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM) is a B-cell neoplasm manifested by the accumulation of clonal immunoglobulin (Ig)M-secreting lymphoplasmacytic cells. MYD88 and CXCR4 warts, hypogammaglobulinemia, infections, myelokathexis syndrome-like somatic mutations are present in >90% and 30% to 35% of WM patients, respectively, and impact disease presentation, treatment outcome, and overall survival. Familial predisposition is common in WM. Asymptomatic patients should be observed. Patients with disease-related hemoglobin <10 g/L, platelets <100 × 10(9)/L, bulky adenopathy and/or organomegaly, symptomatic hyperviscosity, peripheral neuropathy, amyloidosis, cryoglobulinemia, cold-agglutinin disease, or transformed disease should be considered for therapy. Plasmapheresis should be used for patients with symptomatic hyperviscosity and before rituximab for those with high serum IgM levels to preempt a symptomatic IgM flare. Treatment choice should take into account specific goals of therapy, necessity for rapid disease control, risk of treatment-related neuropathy, immunosuppression and secondary malignancies, and planning for future autologous stem cell transplantation. Frontline treatments include rituximab alone or rituximab combined with alkylators (bendamustine and cyclophosphamide), proteasome inhibitors (bortezomib and carfilzomib), nucleoside analogs (fludarabine and cladribine), and ibrutinib. In the salvage setting, an alternative frontline regimen, ibrutinib, everolimus, or stem cell transplantation can be considered. Investigational therapies under development for WM include agents that target MYD88, CXCR4, BCL2, and CD27/CD70 signaling, novel proteasome inhibitors, and chimeric antigen receptor-modified T-cell therapy.

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