Not all patients with elevated IgM in their bloodstream need immediate treatment. Some may just be monitored until they develop symptoms. Treatment for elevated IgM due to Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia may include chemotherapy to attack the abnormal cells and reduce the abnormal protein in the blood. Another option is plasma exchange or plasmapheresis, to wash the IgM antibody out the bloodstream and replace it with health plasma.
Sometime complications of the Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia need to be treated first. Common complications include progressive anemia and enlarged and painful lymph nodes.
Specific treatment for Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia may include:
- Corticosteroids for Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia:
- Medication for Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia:
- Chlorambucil (Leukeran)
- Cladribine (Leustatin)
- Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan)
- Doxorubicin (Adriamycin)
- Fludarabine (Fludara)
- Melphalan (Alkeran)
- Rituximab (Rituxan)
- Interferon alpha (Intron A, Roferon)
- Interferon gamma-1b (Actimmune)
- Thalidomide (Thalomid)
- Bortezomib (Velcade)
- Medications for nausea and vomiting:
- Aprepitant (Emend)
- Dolasetron (Anzemet)
- Granisetron (Kytril)
- Metoclopramide (Reglan)
- Ondansetron (Zofran)
- Palonosetron (Aloxi)
- Prochlorperazine (Compazine, Compro)
- Promethazine (Phenergan)
- The blood is filtered to remove excess antibodies from the bloodstream.
- Removal of the spleen for Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia
Macroglobulinemia Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- Is surgery an option for me?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- Do I need to stay in the hospital?
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Do I need to change my diet?
- Do I need to lose weight?
- Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
- When can I resume my normal activities?
- When can I return to work?
- Do I need a special exercise program?
- Will I need physical therapy?
- What else can I do to reduce my risk for Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia complications?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
- What local support and other resources are available?
Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia:
Continue to Macroglobulinemia Home Care
- Bjorkholm M, Johansson E, Papamichael D, Celsing F, Matthews J, Lister TA, Rohatiner AZ. Patterns of clinical presentation, treatment, and outcome in patients with Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia: a two-institution study. Semin Oncol. 2003 Apr;30(2):226-30. 
- Chen CI. Treatment for Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia. Ann Oncol. 2004 Apr;15(4):550-8. 
- Dimopoulos MA, Anagnostopoulos A. Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia. Best Pract Res Clin Haematol. 2005;18(4):747-65. 
- Dimopoulos MA, Kyle RA, Anagnostopoulos A, Treon SP. Diagnosis and management of Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia. J Clin Oncol. 2005 Mar 1;23(7):1564-77.