Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia: Latest Research

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 12/2018

ON THIS PAGE: You will read about the scientific research being done now to learn more about this type of cancer and how to treat it. Use the menu to see other pages.

Doctors are working to learn more about Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia, ways to prevent it, how to best treat it, and how to provide the best care to people diagnosed with Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia. The following areas of research may include new options for patients through clinical trials. Always talk with your doctor about the best diagnostic and treatment options for you.

New treatments and targeted therapy. As explained in the Treatment Options section, targeted therapy can block tumor growth in different ways. Other drugs that target how B-cells develop are also being evaluated for patients with Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia. Several drugs that inhibit PI3 kinase are available and being evaluated for a variety of B-cell cancers, including Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia. The drugs everolimus (Afinitor) and temsirolimus (Torisel), as well as drugs called histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, such as panobinostat (Farydak), are also being looked at as treatments for Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia.

Drug combinations. Drugs are being used in combination to treat Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia:

  • Monoclonal antibodies, such as rituximab, which are described in the Types of Treatment section, are being used along with chemotherapy as a way to eliminate more cancer cells.

    The drug fludarabine combined with cyclophosphamide is sometimes used to treat patients with advanced and/or symptomatic Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia, as is thalidomide (Synovir, Thalomid) or lenalidomide (Revlimid) plus rituximab. Another combination of drugs used is called DTPACE. This contains the following drugs:

    • Cisplatin (Platinol)

    • Dexamethasone (multiple brand names)

    • Doxorubicin (Adriamycin)

    • Cyclophosphamide

    • Etoposide (Toposar, VePesid)

  • Bortezomib, dexamethasone, and rituximab recently have been shown to be an active combination to treat Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia.

Palliative care. Clinical trials are underway to find better ways of reducing symptoms and side effects of current Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia treatments to improve comfort and quality of life for patients.

Looking for More about the Latest Research?

If you would like additional information about the latest areas of research regarding Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia, explore these related items that take you outside of this guide:

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