Dr. Alkharabsheh on Future Research Directions in MPNs

Omar Alkharabsheh, MD

Omar Alkharabsheh, MD, discusses future research directions for the treatment of patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms.

Omar Alkharabsheh, MD, assistant professor of interdisciplinary clinical oncology at USA College of Medicine and a medical oncologist and hematologist at USA College of Medicine, discusses future research directions for the treatment of patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs).

Currently, many early-phase clinical trials are examining treatment options for patients with MPNs, such as myelofibrosis, Alkharabsheh says. For example, the BCL-2 inhibitor navitoclax is being combined with JAK inhibitors in this patient population, Alkharabsheh notes. Moreover, ruxolitinib (Jakafi) induces some suppression of the JAK/STAT pathway, which could lead to improvements in symptoms and reduction in spleen size, although it does not change the biology of the disease, Alkharabsheh explains.

By adding a BCL-2 inhibitor to ruxolitinib, it is believed that the disease biology can be changed by decreasing the risk of progression to acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and improving overall survival, according to Alkharabsheh. However, this regimen will need to be further investigated in a more advanced clinical trial, Alkharabsheh concludes.