Helpful Terms to Know

Anemia - Not enough red blood cells to carry oxygen

BMT (Bone Marrow Transplant) is the transplantation of multipotent hematopoietic stem cell or blood, usually derived from bone marrow, peripheral blood stem cells, or umbilical cord blood. Stem cell transplantation is a medical procedure in the fields of hematology and oncology, most often performed for people with diseases of the blood, bone marrow, or certain cancers. 

Compendia - In the pharmaceutical industry, a compendium is a comprehensive listing of drugs. It typically includes a summary of the pharmacologic characteristics of each listed drug or biological; information on dosage; and, often, recommended uses for specific diseases. The current recognized compendia for off-label cancer drugs are: American Hospital Formulary Service Drug Information (AHFS-DI), National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Drugs and Biologics, Clinical Pharmacology, and Thompson Reuters- DrugDex.

The accepted compendia contain listings of FDA Approved drugs. For each drug, there is also a list of cancer diseases that are considered favorable for off-label use. A disease gets added to the drug compendia for off-label purposes based on a review process that includes evidence from peer review journals, phase II studies, support from the drug company and physicians. The compendia listings serve as a strong guide, but not requirement, for insurance companies in considerations for coverage of off-label cancer drugs.

Fibrosis - Formation of excessive scar tissue

Hydroxyurea Hydroxycarbamide (INN) or hydroxyurea (brand names include Hydrea and Droxia) is anantineoplastic drug, first synthesized in 1869, used in myeloproliferative disorders, specificallypolycythemia vera and essential thrombocythemia.

JAK2 (JAK2V617F) is the first gene marker discovered present in almost all PV patients and about 50% of ET and MF patients.

Leukocytosis - Too many white blood cells

MPL (myeloproliferative leukemia virus oncogene homology) mutations are present in patients with MF and ET at a frequency of approximately 5% and 1%, respectively.

Pegasys (Pegylated interferon alfa-2a; commercial name Pegasys) is an antiviral drug discovered at the pharmaceutical company F. Hoffmann-La Roche; it has a dual mode of action - both antiviral and on the immune system. The addition ofpolyethylene glycol to the interferon, through a process known as pegylation, enhances the half-life of the interferon when compared to its native form. Read more about Pegasys here...

Platelets - Small, regularly shaped clear cell fragments (i.e. cells that do not have a nucleus containing DNA), 2–3 µm in diameter,[1] which are derived from fragmentation of precursor megakaryocytes. They circulate in the blood of mammals and are involved in hemostasis, leading to the formation of blood clots. If the number of platelets is too low, excessive bleeding can occur. However, if the number of platelets is too high, blood clots can form (thrombosis), which may obstruct blood vessels and result in such events as a stroke, myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism the blockage of blood vessels to other parts of the body, such as the extremities of the arms or legs.

Splenomegaly - Having an enlarged spleen

Stem Cells - Biological cells found in all multicellular organisms, that can divide (through mitosis) and differentiate into diverse specialized cell types and can self-renew to produce more stem cells. In mammals, there are two broad types of stem cells: embryonic stem cells, which are isolated from the inner cell mass of blastocysts, and adult stem cells, which are found in various tissues. In adult organisms, stem cells and progenitor cells act as a repair system for the body, replenishing adult tissues.

Stroke - The rapid loss of brain function(s) due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. This can be due to ischemia (lack of blood flow) caused by blockage (thrombosis, arterial embolism), or a hemorrhage (leakage of blood).

Thrombocytosis - Excessive number of platelets

Thrombosis - The formation of a blood clot inside a blood vessel, obstructing the flow of blood through the circulatory system

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