What is new in the treatment of Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia?

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Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia (WM) is a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The diagnosis of WM is established by the presence of lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma in the bone marrow or other organs, a monoclonal IgM paraproteinemia and the recurrent MYD88 L265P somatic mutation. Some patients with WM can be asymptomatic, in which case treatment is not indicated. However, most patients with WM will become symptomatic during the course of the disease, due to anemia, hyperviscosity, neuropathy, or other processes, necessitating therapy. Current treatment options for symptomatic WM patients include alkylating agents, proteasome inhibitors and anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies. The approval of the oral Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor ibrutinib alone and in combination with rituximab has expanded the treatment options for WM patients. The present Perspective would focus on exciting treatment strategies under development for WM patients, such as proteasome inhibitors (e.g., ixazomib), BTK inhibitors (e.g., acalabrutinib, zanubrutinib, vecabrutinib), BCL2 inhibitors (e.g., venetoclax), and anti-CXCR4 antibodies (e.g., ulocuplumab), among others. It is certainly an exciting time for WM therapy development with novel and promising treatment options in the horizon.

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Correspondence to Jorge J. Castillo.

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JJC received honoraria and/or research funds from Abbvie, Beigene, Janssen, Millennium, Pharmacyclics, and TG Therapeutics. SPT received honoraria and/or research funds from Bristol-Meyer-Squibb and Pharmacyclics.

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Castillo, J.J., Treon, S.P. What is new in the treatment of Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia?. Leukemia 33, 2555–2562 (2019) doi:10.1038/s41375-019-0592-8

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