Dr. Pemmaraju on Methods to Treat Anemia in MPNs

Naveen Pemmaraju, MD, discusses methods to address anemia in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes.

Naveen Pemmaraju, MD, associate professor, Department of Leukemia, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses methods to address anemia in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MPNs).

The development of anemia in patients with myelofibrosis remains a challenge in the space, explains Pemmaraju. Low hemoglobin levels can occur at baseline due to the disease, the administered therapies, or disease progression. Outside of the usual known supportive care measure such as blood transfusions and growth factor supplementations, there are not many tools available, says Pemmaraju. Older medications, such as danazol and other medicines, have been used with varying levels of effectiveness.

Research investigating other therapies, potentially chemotherapy or other agents, that may help promote blood cell formation in different ways, according to Pemmaraju. One of these areas is the sotatercept/luspatercept (Rebloyzl) story, which is being investigated in MPNs, specifically in myelofibrosis. Luspatercept is being investigated in myelofibrosis as a treatment for anemia. Other areas of MPNs are looking into combining older and newer drugs to offset the JAK inhibition-causing or the developing new JAK inhibitors that may not cause as much anemia as the ones currently available, concludes Pemmaraju.

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