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Are We Close to a Cure for Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia?

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Published on November 2, 2020

Treatment Advancements are Improving Survivorship and Prompting Hope

Is a cure for Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia on the horizon? In the past several decades Waldenstrom’s survivorship has vastly improved due to safer and more effective treatment drugs. Could this indicate that a cure might be within reach?

Patient Power Co-Founder Andrew Schorr speaks with Dr. Steven Treon, director, Bing Center for Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, about his predictions for the future of Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia treatment.

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Transcript | Are We Close to a Cure for Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia?

Andrew Schorr: Hello, and welcome to Patient Power. I'm Andrew Schorr on behalf of Patient Power and the IWMF. We want to ask a world expert about his overview thought about Waldenstrom's. So, joining us now is Dr. Steven Treon, who's really noted worldwide in the field and he's at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. So, Dr. Treon, the key question, because you're the barometer for patients worldwide, are you hopeful that people with Waldenstrom's today can live a longer, fuller life?

How Has Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia Treatment Improved?

Dr. Treon: Absolutely. When I became involved in Waldenstrom's, and it was about 25 years ago, the survival was about three to five years. And often patients died because of the chemotherapy. Now, things are very different. The drugs that we use are far safer, which has really impacted overall survival.

Is There a Cure for Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia on the Horizon?

And let me tell you, in our clinic, we actually see over a thousand patients a year with Waldenstrom. We've published our own survival data in this disease, and we're actually approaching now survival of almost two decades as being the average survival in Waldenstrom's. Just think about that compared to not too long ago, when it was three to five years’ time. So, I'll tell you, these new drugs have changed things. We're still innovating. We have a lot of remarkable new drugs that we're working on. And I actually think the future is bright. We're going to make this a chronic ailment and hopefully cure it sooner than later.

Andrew Schorr: We love hearing that word. Thank you so much, Dr. Steven Treon, for your leadership, with your lab, with your colleagues there at Dana-Farber, and in partnering with others around the world. Thanks for being with us today.

Dr. Treon: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Andrew Schorr: I'm Andrew Schorr. On behalf of Patient Power and the IWMF, remember, knowledge can be the best medicine of all. 


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