Dr. Ansell on Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia Types

Stephen Ansell, MD, PhD
Published Online: Friday, February 24, 2012
Stephen Ansell, MD, PhD, professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, explains the 2 main types of patients with Waldenström Macroglobulinemia (WM), a rare type of slow-growing, non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Some types of WM present with very few symptoms and are generally only detected because the monoclonal immunoglobulin M antibody, or macroglobulin, protein that is overproduced in WM is detected. This type is generally referred to as indolent WM and may not require therapy, these patients are generally monitored without being treated and will not require treatment for many years.

Patients with WM that present symptoms, which includes weakness, swollen lymph nodes, severe fatigue, nose bleeds, weight loss, and visual and neurological problems, require treatment. Treatment will begin with plasmapheresis followed by chemotherapy plus rituximab.

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