Dr. Kambhampati on Interferon and Novel Agents in MPNs

Suman Kambhampati, MD
Published: Tuesday, Mar 12, 2019

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

MPNs is a very heterogeneous disease consisting of many disease subtypes, Kambhampati says. One of the big themes that came out of the 2018 ASH Annual Meeting was in the treatment of patients with polycythemia vera and high-risk essential thrombocytopenia. In a study presented at this meeting, hydroxyurea and pegylated interferon alfa-2a (Pegasys) were found to have equal benefit in terms of responses and comparable toxicity profiles. This study took many years to complete, Kambhampati says, as investigators were curious to learn how the interferon agent would perform in comparison with standard frontline therapy hydroxyurea.

Another big theme from ASH 2018 was observed in patients with ruxolitinib (Jakafi)-failed myelofibrosis. Research exploring the use of PRM-151 and imetelstat in the treatment of these patients were presented, and early data look promising. However, Kambhampati concludes that longer-term follow-up data is needed.

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