MPNs are a group of cancers in which immature blood cells in the bone marrow do not fully develop, and are prohibited from maturing into healthy blood cells. In thrombocythemia, excess platelets are produced, leading to abnormal blood clotting or bleeding. Myelofibrosis often results in extensive scarring in the bone marrow, leading to anemia, fatigue, and an increased risk of bleeding and infection.
With help from advocacy organizations and respected key opinion leaders dedicating themselves to research of MPNs, Rare Disease Report
tries to keep its audience at the forefront with the latest news from the hematological and oncological spaces. This new infographic provides 5 little-known facts about MPNs that might not necessarily be covered in news articles from RDR
or other media outlets.
- Myeloproliferative neoplasms, formerly known as myeloproliferative diseases, are diseases of the bone marrow in which excess cells are produced. MPNs include: essential thrombocytopenia, polycythemia vera, and primary myelofibrosis. Certain leukemias, including chronic myelogenous leukemia, are not also considered MPNs.
- Thrombocytopenia can occur in both people with and without cancer, however, it is a common side effect of cancer treatment. It has been known to occur due to bone marrow damage caused by chemotherapy drugs.
- Most cases of thrombocytopenia can be treated with medications including corticosteroids and immunoglobulins like rituximab which blocks the immune system, or blood and platelet transfusions. In severe cases where patients are resistant to therapy, a doctor could suggest a splenectomy.
- Several specific gene mutations have been identified in people with myelofibrosis, but the most common is the Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) gene. Knowing whether the JAK2 gene is associated with myelofibrosis assists in determining prognosis and treatment.
- While itchiness, headache, bruising, and excessive sweating have been associated with polycythemia vera, it’s more common for somebody with the condition to not have any symptoms at all.
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