At Mayo Clinic, a multidisciplinary team of experts works together with you to understand your condition and create a treatment plan that meets your needs and goals. Though this rare disease can't be cured, it can be controlled. Mayo Clinic doctors draw on their extensive experience to provide you with expert, whole-person care.
Treatment options for Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia may include:
Aug. 21, 2015
- Observation. If IgM proteins are found in your blood, but you don't have any signs or symptoms, you may choose to wait before beginning treatment. Your doctor may recommend blood tests every few months to monitor your condition. You may go years without needing further treatment.
- Plasma exchange. If you experience signs and symptoms related to having too many IgM proteins in your blood, your doctor may recommend plasma exchange (plasmapheresis) to remove the proteins and replace them with healthy blood plasma.
- Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that kills quickly growing cells, such as the abnormal blood cells produced by Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia.
- Targeted therapy. Targeted therapy drugs kill cancer cells by focusing on the specific abnormalities present in the cancer cells that allow them to survive.
- Biological therapy. Biological therapy drugs use your immune system to kill cancer cells.
- Stem cell transplant. In certain highly selected situations, a stem cell transplant may be used to treat Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia. During this procedure, your diseased bone marrow is replaced with healthy bone marrow.
- Clinical trials. Clinical trials give you a chance to try the latest in Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia treatment.
- Kasi MP, et al. Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia. Clinical Advances in Hematology & Oncology. 2015;13:56.
- AskMayoExpert. Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
- Gertz M. Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia: 2015 update on diagnosis, risk stratification and management. American Journal of Hematology. 2015;90:347.
- Cook AJ. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 17, 2015.