It is best to read this information with our general information about non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). If you have any more questions, you can ask your doctor or nurse at the hospital where you are having treatment.
Waldenström’s macroglobulinaemia (WM) is a slow-growing type of NHL. It is also called lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma.
WM is a cancer of a type of white blood cell called lymphoplasmacytic cells (LPL cells). This is where the name lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma comes from. LPL cells are a type of white blood cell called a B-cell. This is why WM is also sometimes called a B-cell lymphoma.
In people with WM, the number of abnormal LPL cells (lymphoma cells) increases over time and they begin to fill the bone marrow. This is where blood cells are usually made. Lymphoma cells can also build up in lymph nodes, the spleen and other organs, causing them to get bigger.
The lymphoma cells make large amounts of a protein called immunoglobulin M (IgM). This protein circulates in the blood. Sometimes doctors call it the M-protein or M-band. You may also hear it called a paraprotein.