The name of Jan Waldenström, professor emeritus of medicine at the University of Lund and physician-in-chief at Malmö Hospital in Sweden, is inextricably associated with the disease that bears his name, Waldenström macroglobulinemia, a disorder of unknown etiology in which there is an uncontrolled proliferation of plasma cells and lymphocytes leading to a marked increase in IgM protein in human serum. The disease, even when treated, almost invariably leads to a fatal outcome. But Waldenström's reputation extends far beyond the eponymous recognition of macroglobulinemia. His long and distinguished career in medicine has been characterized by clinical investigation of a high order and in diverse fields.
"Is it becoming canonical that the biological basis of human disease can be elucidated only by a reductionistic approach and that little can be learned from patient-oriented research?"
We live at a time when there is a lamentable dearth of clinical investigators, a situation recently