Dr. Stephen Ansell, from the Mayo Clinic, on Treating Patients With WaldenstrÃ¶m Macroglobulinemia
Stephen Ansell, MD, PhD, professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, discusses using rituximab (Rituxan) to treat subgroups of patients with Waldenström Macroglobulinemia (WM), a rare type of slow-growing non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
WM patients with modest amounts of disease can be treated with rituximab as a monotherapy. However, giving this agent alone increases the risk of developing a flare phenomenon, in which the protein IgM increases causing hyperviscosity in the blood, a leading cause of the symptoms associated with WM.
Management of hyperviscosity may include plasmapheresis before and after the administration of rituximab. Additionally, rituximab may be combined with chemotherapy. This combination has shown promise at reducing the incidence of the flare phenomenon.