What is WM?
Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia (WM) is a rare, slow-growing cancer of the lymphatic system. Cancers of the lymphatic system are called lymphomas. WM is a type of lymphoma called non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is not a single disease; it refers to a group of different lymphomas that start in the lymphocytes (white blood cells). WM affects a specific type of white blood cell, called a B-lymphocyte or B-cell for short.
What type of lymphoma is Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia?
WM is the most common form of a sub-type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma called lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma (LPL). WM cells are lymphoplasmacytic, meaning they have features of both plasma cells and lymphocyte cells.
WM is a slow-growing lymphoma and does not always require treatment. If you don’t have symptoms, you usually do not need to be treated. If you do develop symptoms, you may need treatment depending on the severity of the symptoms.
Learn the symptoms of WM and discuss any changes with your doctor. While there is no cure for WM yet, there are different types of treatments that can lessen or resolve your symptoms and control the disease for many years.
How do I know if my WM is progressing
No single treatment for WM works for all patients. If the first drug or set of drugs doesn’t work, other drugs may be helpful. Most people with WM will require treatment with different drugs at some point. Often, a certain drug or combination of drugs will initially work, but over time it might not be as effective or will stop working all together. Also, a person might stop treatment if their WM is under control, only to have it come back some time later.
If the cancer comes back sooner, or if the initial treatment was not effective, then switching to another drug or drug combination is likely to be a better option.
Source: American Cancer Society
It’s important to discuss all treatment options, including their goals and possible side effects, with your doctors to help make the decision that best fits your needs. Talk to your doctor today about the CLOVER-WaM study to find out more and see if you qualify.
Learn more about Cellectar Biosciences and what they are doing to impact the rare disease space by visiting www.cellectar.com.
Information credited to the International Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia Foundation (IWMF)