TREATMENTS FOR MPNS
If you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with an MPN, it’s important to know that blood cancer treatments have come a long way over the past decade, significantly improving the quality of life for MPN patients and their families.
At the MPN Research Foundation, we’re proud to fund research that is leading to advances in treatment and ultimately, a cure for myelofibrosis (MF), essential thrombocythemia (ET) and polycythemia vera (PV).
But just as importantly, we’re committed to helping patients and their families understand MPN treatments as well as the novel therapies, clinical trials and emerging treatments that are shaping the way we approach MPNs going forward.
There are a wide variety of treatments available for MPN sufferers based on the type of disease, the severity of symptoms and other variables:
MPN CLINICAL TRIALS
By definition, a clinical trial is a comparison test of a medication or other medical treatment (such as a medical device), versus a placebo (inactive look-a-like), other medications or devices, or the standard medical treatment for a patients’ condition. The number of patients can range from as few as 30 to hundreds or thousands. There are two kinds of clinical trials:
FIND A HEMATOLOGIST
Finding the right doctor is never easy, especially for people who have been diagnosed with a myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN). Your general practitioner may have never seen a case of MF, ET or PV, and your local hematologist may have limited firsthand experience with MPNs.
However, as an MPN patient, it’s critical to find a healthcare practitioner who understands your disease. At some point, you will need to be seen by a physician who specializes in myeloproliferative blood disorders.
Many MPN patients are struggling to get insurance coverage for their medicine. This is because most treatments prescribed are not United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for MPNs and are considered ‘off-label’ — meaning they are for indications other than those referenced in the FDA approved label. Hydrea, Pegasys, and IntronA are FDA approved drugs, but are not FDA approved for MPNs.
STEM CELL TRANSPLANT
What is a Stem Cell Transplant?
There is no single treatment that is effective for all Myelofibrosis sufferers. Each patient has a unique set of symptoms and circumstances that require different treatment options, as prescribed by a doctor. Also, some patients with MF remain symptom-free for many years and may not require immediate treatment. However, anyone who has been diagnosed with MF needs to be monitored over time for signs or symptoms that suggest the disease has worsened.