Key Takeaways on Interferon Use in Myeloproliferative Neoplasms


Richard Silver, MD, discusses the Interferon Initiative organized by the Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Research Foundation.

In an interview with Targeted OncologyTM, Richard T. Silver, MD, professor emeritus of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, discusses the key takeaways surrounding the 3-Year Global Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPN) Interferon Initiative.

The initiative organized by the Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Research Foundation (MPNRF) examines how interferon works and what makes it successful. The treatment of MPNs currently has 1 interferon agent approved by the FDA in the United States, as well as ropeginterferon alfa-2b-njft (Besremi) for adults with polycythemia vera (PV).

To further understand these agents, a combination of laboratory studies were conducted in 4 laboratories with the goal of determining the effectiveness and reasoning as to why interferon works in hematological disorders.

Mouse models have demonstrated interferon to be effective in a number of hematological diseases as it affects PV stem cell, is active in affecting the megakaryocytic stem cell, and has been used to treat essential thrombocytopenia (ET).


0:08 | I think the all the laboratory investigators would agree that we have ways to go before we fully understand the mechanism action of interferon and why it works and is most effective in PV and ET. It works in early phases of myelofibrosis. When myelofibrosis for example, becomes advanced in the bone marrow, it becomes very sclerotic or fibrotic, and interferon is not effective. There are many questions to be answered.

0:48 |This is the beginning and like all research, when you conduct research, it often opens more questions that are answered. I think this has been true in this MPNRF. As I said, I think the most important aspect of this has been to focus the effect of interferon on the MPN stem cell and show that is, in fact, very active on that cell.

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