With the recent breakthrough research in the basic causes of the MPNs, our treatment possibilities have expanded (and continue to expand) vastly.  These include traditional chemotherapy drugs (such as hydroxyurea and alkylating agents), interferon, and targeted therapeutics. Among the latter is the original, prototypical targeted therapy in all of medicine: imatinib (Gleevec ®) and other CML drugs which can abolish all evidence of the mutant “clone” of stem cells causing the disease.

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (such as bone marrow transplantation) can be theoretically curative in the MPNs – since these are, after all, bone marrow stem cell diseases – but its risks outweigh its benefits in most cases and they are only used today in selected cases. There is considerable cutting-edge, ongoing clinical research in the treatment of MPNs and the Silver Center for Myeloproliferative Neoplasms is actively engaged in participating and developing many of them. 

Richard T. Silver MD Myeloproliferative Neoplasms Center 525 East 70th St., Starr Pavillion, 3rd Floor New York, NY 10021