Dr. Michaelis on the Role of Interferon in MPNs

Laura C. Michaelis, MD, discusses the role of interferon in myeloproliferative neoplasms.

Laura C. Michaelis, MD, associate professor, Medical College of Wisconsin, discusses the role of interferon in myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs).

Hydroxyurea is a common treatment arm in randomized trials in polycythemia vera and essential thrombocythemia, says Michaelis. However, interferon has seen an uptick in utility for patients with JAK2-positive MPNs. Notably, data suggests that interferon can lessen a patient’s molecular mutation burden.

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines have indicated interferon as an appropriate frontline treatment for some patients with MPNs, says Michaelis.

Interferon may be better tolerated in younger patients with MPNs, explains Michaelis. Moreover, interferon is less likely to cause fertility-related adverse events in patients.

In terms of long-term treatment considerations, it is important to remember that hydroxyurea is associated with skin toxicities, explains Michaelis.

Pegylated interferon is well tolerated and should be considered in the up-front treatment of patients with MPNs, concludes Michaelis.

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