Dr. Yacoub on Pegylated Interferon Treatment for PV

Abdulraheem Yacoub, MD
Published: Thursday, Oct 04, 2018



Abdulraheem Yacoub, MD, associate professor of medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center, discusses the potential of pegylated interferon treatment in patients with polycythemia vera (PV).

For patients who failed on hydroxyurea (Hydrea) therapy, ruxolitinib (Jakafi) has shown promise. It is a very convenient oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor that results in rapid response. Yacoub says these responses have been durable. However, ruxolitinib is not disease-modifying in the sense that it prevents disease progression. Interferons are a class of drugs that can produce synthetic hormones to fight the cancer cells and enhance immune response. Researchers have yet to prove that these agents effectively change the natural history of the disease, Yacoub says.

Ongoing clinical trials seem to suggest that interferons are very active, with deep responses and some complete molecular responses. Yacoub adds that the toxicities associated with this class of drugs can be controlled.


Abdulraheem Yacoub, MD, associate professor of medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center, discusses the potential of pegylated interferon treatment in patients with polycythemia vera (PV).

For patients who failed on hydroxyurea (Hydrea) therapy, ruxolitinib (Jakafi) has shown promise. It is a very convenient oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor that results in rapid response. Yacoub says these responses have been durable. However, ruxolitinib is not disease-modifying in the sense that it prevents disease progression. Interferons are a class of drugs that can produce synthetic hormones to fight the cancer cells and enhance immune response. Researchers have yet to prove that these agents effectively change the natural history of the disease, Yacoub says.

Ongoing clinical trials seem to suggest that interferons are very active, with deep responses and some complete molecular responses. Yacoub adds that the toxicities associated with this class of drugs can be controlled.

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