Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM), also known as lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma, is a form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of cancer that starts in the white blood cells of the body, called lymphocytes. This is a key part of the body’s immune system.
Waldenström macroglobulinemia is a rare and slow-growing disease. It occurs in less than 2% of patients with NHL. Waldenström macroglobulinemia is treatable with therapies that are available to patients, however it is not curable.
In this disease, cancer cells create large amounts of an abnormal protein called a macroglobulin. Macroglobulin is a plasma protein in the bloodstream. It is produced primarily by the liver, and is locally produced by macrophages, fibroblasts, and adrenocortical cells.
Signs and symptoms of WM include:
- Vision problems
- Loss of coordination
- Bleeding gums