Dr. Silver on Hydroxyurea and Interferon in MPNs

Richard T. Silver, MD
Published: Wednesday, Apr 03, 2013

Richard T. Silver, MD, Professor of Medicine, Director, Leukemia and Myleoproliferative Center, New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center, discusses the use hydroxyurea and interferons in myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs).

The most commonly used drug in MPNs, Silver says, is hydroxyurea. There is no biologic basis for its use as it just kills cells indiscriminately. In addition, hydroxyurea is taken orally and presents significant side effects including nausea and vomiting.

The new use of interferon was shaped by the fact that doses were previously too high: side effects were too great and the agent was never promoted. Interferon has shown efficacy in chronic hepatitis with lower doses, causing a renewed interest in the hematologic space.

Richard T. Silver, MD, Professor of Medicine, Director, Leukemia and Myleoproliferative Center, New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center, discusses the use hydroxyurea and interferons in myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs).

The most commonly used drug in MPNs, Silver says, is hydroxyurea. There is no biologic basis for its use as it just kills cells indiscriminately. In addition, hydroxyurea is taken orally and presents significant side effects including nausea and vomiting.

The new use of interferon was shaped by the fact that doses were previously too high: side effects were too great and the agent was never promoted. Interferon has shown efficacy in chronic hepatitis with lower doses, causing a renewed interest in the hematologic space.


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