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Eltrombopag Fills Unmet Need in Hematologic Disorders, But More Work Remains

Kristi Rosa
Published: Thursday, Apr 04, 2019

Alvaro Jose Alencar, MD

Alvaro Jose Alencar, MD

The addition of eltrombopag (Promacta) offered patients with benign hematological disorders, such as immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) and aplastic anemia, another effective treatment option after failing available options, said Alvaro Jose Alencar, MD. However, while this was an important step forward in the clinical space, more work is required.

Historically, patients with these 2 disorders had been treated with immunosuppressive therapies. Patients with ITP would be given steroids, while those with aplastic anemia would be administered the combination of antithymocyte globulin (ATG) and cyclosporine. Better understanding of these disorders resulted in the development of thrombopoietin receptor agonists, such as eltrombopag.

“The therapies that used to be the standard until the application of eltrombopag for aplastic anemia were very effective, but there was still a very large group of patients who were failing this therapy; the same [was true with] ITP,” said Alencar. “With ITP, in the first-line setting, most patients respond to steroids, but sometimes they fail steroids and require more therapies.”

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