Dr. Alkharabsheh on the Goals of Treatment in MPNs

Omar Alkharabsheh, MD, discusses the current goals of treatment in myeloproliferative neoplasms.

Omar Alkharabsheh, MD, assistant professor of interdisciplinary clinical oncology, USA College of Medicine, medical oncologist and hematologist, Mitchell Cancer Institute, USA Health, discusses the current goals of treatment in myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs).

In patients with essential thrombocythemia (ET) or polycythemia vera (PV), the goal of treatment is to decrease the risk of clotting, control cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, and lipedema, and determine when to initiate antiplatelet or cytoreductive therapy, Alkharabsheh explains.

Additionally, patients with ET or PV require close monitoring to identify whether their disease has progressed to myelofibrosis, adds Alkharabsheh.

The current standard of care for patients with ET or PV is cytoreduction with hydroxyurea, Alkharabsheh says.

JAK2 inhibitors do not change the biology of a patient’s disease by inducing complete remissions or molecular responses. However, the COMFORT-I and COMFORT-II trials demonstrated improvement in symptoms and splenomegaly with the JAK2 inhibitor ruxolitinib (Jakafi), concludes Alkharabsheh.

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