Dr. Dunavin on Ongoing Research for Myelofibrosis Treatments

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Partner | Cancer Centers | <b>UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center</b>

Neil Dunavin, MD, MS, discusses ongoing research on therapies for patients with myelofibrosis.

Neil Dunavin, MD, MS, assistant professor of medicine, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses ongoing research on therapies for patients with myelofibrosis.

At the 2019 ASH Annual Meeting, novel combination therapies with ruxolitinib (Jakafi) generated excitement, says Dunavin, who hopes that these combinations move on to later-phase studies. However, no large, practice-changing phase III studies in myelofibrosis were presented at the meeting, according to Dunavin.

Luspatercept-aamt (Reblozyl), a red blood cell stimulatory agent, is approved for the treatment of anemia in adult patients with beta thalassemia who require regular red blood cell transfusions, based on data from the BELIEVE trial (NCT02604433). Results from the trial showed that treatment with luspatercept-aamt resulted in significant reductions in red blood cell transfusion burden in this patient population.

In the future, the agent might also receive approval for use in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome with ring sideroblasts who need more red blood cells, says Dunavin. The drug is given to patients with isolated anemia, which is a significant problem in patients with myelofibrosis. As such, Dunavin is interested to see whether luspatercept-aamt can be given to patients with myelofibrosis as well.