The role of stem cell transplantation in Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia

Rajshekhar Chakraborty, Eli Muchtar, Morie A. Gertz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia (WM) is an indolent B-cell lymphoma, which is highly chemosensitive, with an overall response rate over 90% to novel agents. However, most patients eventually relapse after response to first-line chemotherapy, necessitating further treatment. The possibility of long-lasting remission after high-dose cytotoxic chemotherapy followed by stem cell rescue is high in WM due to the chemosensitive nature of the disease and lower proliferative activity compared to multiple myeloma. In this paper, we have reviewed current evidence on autologous (auto-) and allogeneic (allo-) stem cell transplantation (SCT) in WM. Auto-SCT can be safely performed in WM and is recommended as second-line treatment or beyond in eligible patients. It is associated with extremely low transplant-related mortality. Allo-SCT is effective in WM with incremental benefit due to graft-versus-WM effect, but is associated with high non-relapse mortality of 30%, hence should be preferably considered investigational as part of clinical trials in selected patients who have exhausted other treatment options.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-240
Number of pages12
JournalBest Practice and Research: Clinical Haematology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Allogeneic stem cell transplantation
  • Autologous stem cell transplantation
  • Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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