Future Directions for MPN Research


Srdan Verstovsek, MD, PhD, highlights what future research in myeloproliferative neoplasms looks to examine.

Srdan Verstovsek, MD, PhD, a professor of Medicine and a hematologic oncologist at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, highlights what future research in myeloproliferative neoplasms looks to examine.

Advancements in developing novel therapeutic strategies are underway for the treatment of patients with myelofibrosis, polycythemia vera, and essential thrombocythemia.

According to Verstovek, ongoing trials are evaluating JAK inhibitors, combination therapies, and other ways for patients to achieve partial or complete responses. The primary goal is to prolong overall survival for these patients.


0:08 | We are looking first to see whether the combinations that are exploring enhancement of the control of the sign symptoms, on top of JAK inhibitors, will actually do that well or well enough to be approved and considered everyday practice. We are also looking in the very near future to see whether any of these therapies can prolong life. Overall survival is already in 1 study with a possible approval with the drug called imetelstat, which is a telomerase inhibitor, a primary goal. This is a phase 3 randomized study in a second-line setting.

0:44 | Then to enhance that, perhaps not in a year but in 3-5 years, that effect of the potential targeted agents to bring about the molecular response, and that would mean possibly a complete response and partial response. We are at the beginning of the new phase in developing the drugs, not just to talk about improvement in the number or the size of the spleen or a blood cell count, but also to talk about affecting the malignant clone.

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