Although WM has no current cure, there are various treatments that can help manage its symptoms. You may not need treatment if you don’t have any symptoms.
Your doctor will evaluate the severity of your symptoms to recommend the best treatment for you. Below are some ways WM is treated.
A variety of chemotherapy drugs can treat WM. Some are injected into the body, while others are taken orally. Chemotherapy can help destroy cancer cells that produce too much IgM.
Newer drugs aimed at addressing the changes inside cancer cells are called targeted therapy. These drugs can be used when chemotherapy doesn’t work.
Targeted therapy often has less severe side effects. Targeted therapy for WM may include:
- proteasome inhibitors
- mTOR inhibitors
- Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitors
Immunotherapy boosts your immune system to potentially slow the growth of WM cells, or destroy them altogether.
Immunotherapy may include the use of:
- monoclonal antibodies (synthetic versions of natural antibodies)
- immunomodulating drugs
If you have hyperviscosity syndrome as a result of WM, you may need plasmapheresis right away.
This treatment involves using a machine to remove plasma with abnormal proteins from the body to lower your IgM level.
Other treatments may be available as well, depending on your specific condition. Your doctor will advise on the best option for you.