International Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia Foundation
Specialized Center for Research
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
ARTICLE ABSTRACTWaldenstrom macroglobulinemia (WM) and its precursor IgM gammopathy are distinct disorders characterized by clonal mature IgM-expressing B-cell outgrowth in the bone marrow. Here, we show by high-dimensional single-cell immunogenomic profiling of patient samples that these disorders originate in the setting of global B-cell compartment alterations, characterized by expansion of genomically aberrant extrafollicular B cells of the nonmalignant clonotype. Alterations in the immune microenvironment preceding malignant clonal expansion include myeloid inflammation and naïve B- and T-cell depletion. Host response to these early lesions involves clone-specific T-cell immunity that may include MYD88 mutation–specific responses. Hematopoietic progenitors carry the oncogenic MYD88 mutations characteristic of the malignant WM clone. These data support a model for WM pathogenesis wherein oncogenic alterations and signaling in progenitors, myeloid inflammation, and global alterations in extrafollicular B cells create the milieu promoting extranodal pattern of growth in differentiated malignant cells.
These data provide evidence that growth of the malignant clone in WM is preceded by expansion of extrafollicular B cells, myeloid inflammation, and immune dysfunction in the preneoplastic phase. These changes may be related in part to MYD88 oncogenic signaling in pre–B progenitor cells and suggest a novel model for WM pathogenesis.This article is highlighted in the In This Issue feature, p. 549