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J Clin Oncol. 1993 Aug;11(8):1553-8.

Prognostic factors in Waldenström's macroglobulinemia: a report of 167 cases.

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Service des Maladies du Sang, Lille, France.



A single-center retrospective analysis was conducted in 167 patients with Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (WM) to delineate prognostic factors.


One hundred sixty-seven patients diagnosed between January 1969 and December 1988, fulfilling diagnostic criteria of WM, were entered onto this study. One hundred twenty-eight patients were treated with chlorambucil (0.1 mg/kg/d): 117 at diagnosis and 11 during the disease course. Seventeen variables were analyzed in all patients and in treated patients for their prognostic value on survival using the Kaplan-Meier method and a Cox multivariate regression analysis.


Median survival duration for all patients was 60 months. Pretreatment factors associated with shorter survival in the entire population were age > or = 60 years (P = .006), male sex (P = .0001), general symptoms (P = .01), hemoglobin less than 10 g/dL (P = .008), leukocytes less than 4 X 10(9)/L (P = .02), neutrophils less than 1.7 X 10(9)/L (P = .02), and platelets less than 150 X 10(9)/L (P = .0006). Organomegaly, signs of hyperviscosity, renal failure, monoclonal immunoglobulin M (M IgM) level, blood lymphocytosis, and percentage of marrow lymphoid cells were not significantly correlated with survival. In a Cox multivariate regression analysis, the combination of factors that gave the best prognostic value was the association of sex (P = .0002), neutrophils (P = .002), age (P = .008), and hemoglobin (P = .02).


Our findings suggest that some pretreatment parameters, including older age, male sex, general symptoms, and cytopenias, carry a poor prognosis in WM. By contrast, high initial tumor burden (indicated by organomegaly, high IgM level, and high percentage of marrow lymphoid cells) does not seem to be significantly associated with short survival. Our results help define a high-risk population that could perhaps benefit from newer therapeutic approaches.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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