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Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia

Our Approach

Because MD Anderson's Lymphoma and Myeloma Center is one of the nation's most-active programs, with a reputation as a leading center for lymphoma treatment, we have a remarkable level of expertise and experience with Waldenström's macroglobulinemia.  

While many cancer doctors see only a couple of cases of this rare type of lymphoma during their entire careers, we treat hundreds each year. This experience is backed by a long history of developing treatments for lymphomas. And we are leading toward the future by investigating new ways to treat and diagnose Waldenström's, including targeted and biologic therapies that are available at a handful of places in this country.

Waldenström's macroglobulinemia is a chronic type of lymphoma that may be treated over an extended period of time. At MD Anderson, you are followed closely by a team of experts that includes physicians of several specialties, nurses, dietitians, social workers and many other specially trained support specialists. They collaborate closely and personalize your care to fit your unique situation.

If you have been diagnosed with Waldenström's macroglobulinemia, we're here to help. Call 1-877-632-6789 to make an appointment or request an appointment online.

Why Choose MD Anderson?

  • Leading-edge Waldenström's macroglobulinemia treatments available at only a few centers in the nation, including targeted therapies
  • Innovative treatment options with best outcomes and least impact on your body
  • High level of experience and expertise in Waldenström's
  • Customized care by teams of experts
  • Clinical trials of new treatments

Waldenströms Macroglobulinemia Knowledge Center

Treatment at MD Anderson

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Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia Facts

Waldenström's macroglobulinemia is a type of lymphoma. According to the American Cancer Society, about six people per 1 million get the disease each year in this country. Between 1,000 and 1,500 people in the United States are diagnosed with Waldenström's macroglobulinemia annually.

Waldenström's mainly strikes people age 65 and over. It is found most often in white men. A low-grade, or indolent, lymphoma, it spreads slowly and usually is controlled easily when diagnosed early.

This chronic form of lymphoma affects blood lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. Waldenström's macroglobulinemia cancer cells are similar to cancer cells in multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

In Waldenstrom’s, the body produces too much of a protein called immunoglobulin M (IgM). When this protein builds up, the blood can become thick. This makes it difficult for the blood to move through the blood vessels.

Waldenström's macroglobulinemia cells can grow in the liver, spleen and lymph nodes, causing them to swell. They also can grow in the bone marrow, crowding out normal cells. When this happens, levels of red blood cells (which carry oxygen through the body) or white blood cells (which help the body fight infection) may fall. Levels of platelets, a type of blood cell needed to stop bleeding, also may fall.

If you have Waldenström's macroglobulinemia, we’re here to help. Call 1-877-632-6789 to make an appointment or request an appointment online.

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center