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Doctors are working to learn more about Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia, ways to prevent it, how to best treat it, and how to provide the best care to people diagnosed with this disease. The following areas of research may include new options for patients through clinical trials. Always talk with your doctor about the diagnostic and treatment options best for you.
New treatments. These therapies are being explored in clinical trials:
- Sildenafil (Viagra) blocks the function of several proteins necessary to the survival of certain types of cancer, and laboratory tests have shown that it can slow the progression of Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia.
- Bortezomib (Velcade) is a type of targeted therapy approved for multiple myeloma called a proteasome inhibitor, targeting specific enzymes called proteasomes that digest proteins in the cells. Bortezomib and other proteasome inhibitors are being studied for the treatment of Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia.
Targeted therapy. As explained in Treatment, monoclonal antibodies can block tumor growth in different ways. Alemtuzumab (Campath) is being reviewed for its ability to locate tumor cells and kill them or deliver tumor-killing substances to them without harming normal cells.
Drug combinations. Drugs are being used in combination to treat Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia:
- Monoclonal antibodies, such as rituximab (see Treatment), can locate cancer cells and eliminate them or deliver cancer-killing substances to them without harming normal cells. Drugs used in chemotherapy work in different ways to stop cancer cells from dividing so they stop growing or die. Adding rituximab to combination chemotherapy may eliminate more cancer cells.
- The drug fludarabine (Fludara) combined with cyclophosphamide (Neosar) is sometimes used to treat patients with advanced and/or symptomatic Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia, as is another combination of drugs called DTPACE (dexamethasone [Decadron], thalidomide [Thalomid], cisplatin [Platinol], doxorubicin [Adriamycin], cyclophosphamide, and etoposide [VePesid]) plus rituximab.
- Bortezomib (Velcade), dexamethasone, and rituximab are being studied in combination to treat Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia.
Supportive care. Clinical trials are underway to find better ways of reducing symptoms and side effects of current Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia treatments in order to improve patients’ comfort and quality of life.
Learn more about common statistical terms used in cancer research.
Looking for More about Current Research?
If you would like additional information about the latest areas of research regarding Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia, explore these related items:
- To find clinical trials specific to your diagnosis, talk with your doctor or search online clinical trial databases now.
- Review research on lymphoma announced at recent scientific meetings or in ASCO’s peer-reviewed journals.
- Read ASCO’s latest Clinical Cancer Advances report (PDF), which highlights top research findings over the past year.
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