Dr. Kambhampati Discusses Role of Interferon in MPNs

Suman Kambhampati, MD
Published: Monday, Feb 25, 2019

Suman Kambhampati, MD, co-director of the Blood Cancer Center at Sarah Cannon Research Institute, HCA Midwest Health, discusses the role of interferon in the treatment of patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs).

Interferon is a naturally occurring cytokine, Kambhampati says, and everyone has interferons in their system endogenously. As a treatment option for MPNs, interferon is supposed to regulate hematopoiesis. Dating back to the 1980s, the role of this drug has been studied vigorously by investigators in the United States and Europe. While newer drugs like hydroxyurea have shown efficacy and become part of routine practice in polycythemia vera (PV) and other MPNs subsets, investigators still believe that there is a use for interferon.

For example, in PV, patients typically develop symptomatic iron deficiency and thrombotic events. Interferon, which inhibits critical pathways, reduces the risk of these events. Kambhampati adds that interferon can act as a disease-modifying agent and reduce the tumor mutational burden associated with myelofibrosis and other disease subtypes of MPNs, leading to deep responses.

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