Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia

I See Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (WM)

Welcome to I see Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia, a dedicated resource to help healthcare practitioners find the latest information about the signs, symptoms and diagnosis of WM.

I See Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (WM)

What is Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (WM)?

Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia (WM) is a chronic, indolent, B-cell disorder characterised by bone marrow infiltration with lymphoplasmacytic cells, along with IgM monoclonal gammopathy.[1][2]

What are the causes and the main symptoms of WM?

A quick overview of the mutation that leads to the development of WM, what are the disease manifestations, and the relevance of the asymptomatic disease.

CP-299789, approved on 11/05/2022

WM statistics

of Non-Hodgkin lymphomas[3]

Median age of diagnosis[3]

~2x more common in men[3]

Median overall survival[4]

WM incidence rates

In Europe, the WM incidence rate is 7.3 per million in men, and 4.2 per million in women[3]

A strong familial predisposition has been reported,[3][5] first-degree relatives of WM patients have up to 20-fold increased risk for developing WM (and also increased risk but at lower level for other B-cell disorders).[3]

In contrast to multiple myeloma, WM prevalence is higher among Caucasians than other races.[3][6]

Epidemiological data and risk evaluation in WM

Have a look at the International Prognostic Scoring System for Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia (IPSSWM) to evaluate the probability of progression, and its correlation with median survival.

CP-299791, approved on 11/05/2022

Risk factors

The main risk factor for WM is the presence of IgM-monoclonal gammopathy of uncertain significance (MGUS).[7][8] Whilst in most people, MGUS remains stable and doesn’t cause problems or need treatment, there is a risk of MGUS developing into a cancer.[9] The presence of IgM-MGUS increases the risk of WM by 46 times vs. the general population.[10][11]

Other risk factors include:[10][11]:

Genetic predisposition[3][7]
Presence of autoimmune disease[7]
History of infections[7]

WM immunophenotype and genetic mutations

WM cells are characterised by very specific immunophenotypes[3][^7]:

Positive for WM

IgM, CD19, CD20, CD22, CD25, CD27, CD79a

Variable for WM

CD5, CD10, CD23, CD138

Negative for WM


These characteristic immunophenotypes differentiate WM from other Non-Hodgkin lymphomas and from multiple myeloma (MM).[7]

Patients with WM present with different genetic variations, with the most common being del (6q) together with the somatic mutation in MYD88(L265P).[7] The latter has an important role in the growth and survival of WM cells.[1][7]

Learn about the steps involved in diagnosing your patient’s WM

Other blood cancer conditions

I see AL amyloidosis

The latest insights into diagnosing and treating AL amyloidosis.

I see mantle cell lymphoma (MCL)

Current advice regarding the diagnosis and treatment of MCL.

I see acute myeloid leukaemia (AML)

Most recent guidance into diagnosing and treating acute myeloid leukaemia.

A dedicated online resource for healthcare professionals to learn about the diagnosis and management of rare haematological malignancies: AL amyloidosis, Waldenström's macroglobulinemia, mantle cell lymphoma and acute myeloid leukaemia.


Download this information on Waldenström's

CD=cluster of differentiation; IgM=immunoglobulin M; MGUS=monoclonal gammopathy of uncertain significance; WM=Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia.

This site has been developed by Janssen-Cilag International NV. Janssen-Cilag International NV is the responsible editor of this document.

CP-343204 - September 2022