Dr. Abu-Zeinah on Investigating Interferon-Alpha in Polycythemia Vera

Ghaith Abu-Zeinah, MD, discusses utilizing interferon-alpha in patients with polycythemia vera.

Ghaith Abu-Zeinah, MD, an instructor in medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and an assistant attending physician at the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, discusses utilizing interferon-alpha (IFN) in patients with polycythemia vera.

Currently, it is difficult to study survival as an end point in polycythemia vera clinical trials due to the chronicity of the disease, Abu-Zeinah says. Polycythemia vera is a disease that could have a course of several years or even decades, and it is now being diagnosed either earlier or in younger patients, Abu-Zeinah notes. Due to this, it is important that younger patients who are diagnosed with the disease are appropriately treated with a regimen that can provide them with the longevity needed, Abu-Zeinah explains.

Abu-Zeinah and colleagues launched a study to determine whether IFN can prolong survival in patients with polycythemia vera over hydroxyurea or phlebotomy. Interferon-alpha has had a long history of being used to treat patients with polycythemia vera, both in cancer centers in the United States, and globally, Abu-Zeinah concludes.