The presence of an IgM protein in the blood is a characteristic feature of Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia (WM). However, not everyone with an IgM protein requires immediate treatment. The presence of an abnormal protein without an underlying illness is called monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). Many people who have no symptoms can be monitored for years without needing treatment. Even people with high levels of the IgM protein may not have symptoms and may not need treatment for years or ever.
Mayo Clinic doctors have extensive experience in treating WM and are able to determine the point at which a person crosses the line from simply having an IgM protein to having WM that may need treatment. The development of progressive anemia or enlarged, bothersome lymph nodes often requires treatment. Although WM currently can't be cured, it can be controlled. With good results, your activity levels can return to normal.
Treatment may include: