Dr. Mascarenhas on the Need to Develop Curative Therapies in Myelofibrosis


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John O. Mascarenhas, MD, discusses the need to develop curative therapies in myelofibrosis.

John O. Mascarenhas, MD, associate professor of medicine, hematology, and medical oncology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; director of the Adult Leukemia Program; and leader of Clinical Investigation within the Myeloproliferative Disorders Program at Mount Sinai, and a member of the Tisch Cancer Institute, discusses the need to develop curative therapies in myelofibrosis.

Currently, the only curative-intent treatment for patients with myelofibrosis is hematopoietic stem cell transplant, says Mascarenhas.

However, many patients are not eligible for transplant due to advanced disease or comorbidities, Mascarenhas explains. Additionally, transplant is associated with significant toxicity, as well as an increased risk of morbidity and mortality.

Although JAK inhibitors have been a welcome addition to the myelofibrosis armamentarium, the agents do not elicit a survival benefit, says Mascarenhas.

As such, novel combination regimens with JAK inhibitors should be evaluated for potential overall survival benefit among this population, Mascarenhas explains.

Although it may not provide cure, the telomerase inhibitor imetelstat (GRN163L) could provide potential overall survival benefit in patients with myelofibrosis, concludes Mascarenhas.

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