September 4, 2014
We have been interested in the potential of combination therapy for treatment of MPNs and are pleased to see some initial findings released. Interferon (Pegasys) in combination with Ruxolitinib (Jakafi) was found to have profound effect in the case of a woman with advanced Polycythemia Vera. In an article published by Hans Hasselbach et al in Leukemia Research Reports (click here for the full report) the woman achieved complete hematological remission with normalization of peripheral blood counts within four weeks, and within 10 months the JAK2V617F-allele burden was reduced from 90% to 28%. This is notable because the woman was initially intolerant of Pegasys.
Since this is a single case and because the researchers aren’t sure why this transformation occurred, more research is needed. In our upcoming assembly of industry and academia (the MPN Roundtable) we will be addressing what we and others in the MPN field can do to better understand this case and what the potential is for combination therapy. We will report back on the discussion in 2015.