What is Myeloproliferative Neoplasms?
Myeloproliferative Neoplasm (MPN) disorders are rare, slow-growing blood cancers that start in the bone marrow and make abnormal red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. MPNs are rare, with only around 10,000 cases per year in the United States. There are 6 types of Myeloproliferative Neoplasm disorders that vary based on the type of blood cell that is effected, which are:
- Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML): A genetic change takes place in the cells that produce red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets
- Polycythemia vera: Disorder where the body overproduces red blood cells
- Primary myelofibrosis: Excess scar tissue forms in the bone marrow and disrupts normal blood cell production
- Essential thrombocythemia: The body produces excess platelets, resulting in clotting and abnormal bleeding
- Chronic neutrophilic leukemia: Bone marrow cells that produce blood cells develop and function abnormally
- Chronic eosinophilic leukemia: Too many eosinophils, a type of white blood cell, are found in the bone marrow and blood
Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Symptoms
Symptoms can vary based on the exact myeloproliferative disorder and the stage of disease as many patients don’t show symptoms until advanced stages. Common symptoms for MPN disorders include:
- Shortness of breath
- Easy bruising or bleeding
- Petechiae (red splotches under the skin)
- Unexplained weight loss
- Night sweats
For those who don’t initially have any symptoms, doctors will opt to wait for treatment until the disease progresses.
What Causes Myeloproliferative Neoplasms?
The cause of MPNs is unknown. MPNS begin when the production of white blood cells, red blood cells, or platelets increases at an unhealthy rate. Depending on the severity of the disease, this can lead to blood flow problems associated with the symptoms of MPNS. It is recommended to avoid any risk factors to decrease your chance of developing an MPN. Old age is associated with MPN patients as a majority are older than 50 at the time of diagnosis
Myeloproliferative Neoplasms Risk Factors
Because doctors do not know the exact cause of MPNs, there is no way to guarantee prevention from developing one of the disorders. However, there are several risk factors to avoid to decrease your chances of developing an MPN, which include:
- Intense exposure to radiation
- Exposure to certain chemicals, such as benzene or toluene
- Exposure to electrical wiring
- Having a mutation in the JAK2, CALR, or MPL genes are common, which are gene mutations that are acquired over time, not inherited
Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Prevention
To prevent an MPN, it is recommended to maintain a healthy weight by exercising and eating a balanced diet. While there is not a specific test to screen patients for a MPN, you should get a yearly checkup, and if the doctor suspects anything you will get a blood test to monitor the levels for each type of blood cell.
Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Treatment
Treatment options for MPNs vary depending on the type of disorder. Patients should consult their doctor to determine which treatment option is best for their cancer case, which can largely depend on the exact type of MPN you have. Common treatment options include:
- Radiation therapy
- Active surveillance or watchful waiting
- Targeted therapy such as ruxolitinib
- Platelet apheresis
- Bone marrow/stem cell transplant
- Other palliative care treatments depending on your symptoms
Clinical trials are also a promising option for those patients who have an MPN. Participation in a clinical trial may help advance cancer research, while also helping other patients who are experiencing the same disease. We can help patients find, qualify, and enroll into a clinical trial.
Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Clinical Trials
There are approximately 110 clinical trials for MPNs that are currently recruiting patients in the United States right now. With such an extensive list, many of them could be beneficial for you. Our team of patient advocates, who are oncology nurses, and our artificial intelligence-based clinical trial matching system will find the best option for you.
With just a few clicks, you can see your clinical trial matches now. Click here to use our advanced clinical trial match tool.
How Do We Help Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Patients?
Massive Bio offers an independent cancer treatment analysis as well as free clinical trial matching for patients with MPNs. Our patient advocates work closely with patients to gather information on their current medical status, and then will provide a list of options from available cancer clinical trials close to your home.
We can also provide a comprehensive case analysis through our Virtual Tumor Board from cancer specialists. The Virtual Tumor Board (VTB) is comprised of highly specialized oncologists from nationally-recognized Cancer Centers of Excellence. In just 7-10 days after receiving your medical records, we can get you a treatment plan without having to travel far distances and use your valuable time.
Myelofibrosis Clinical Trial Finder Mobile AppThe Artificial Intelligence (AI) based engine matches your unique characteristics and cancer genomics to thousands of active clinical trials, to locate and notify you of your eligibility to enroll in real-time. This technology paired with our mobile app makes it easy to find your eligibility for myelofibrosis clinical trials, as well as the best trial sites closest to you. Clinical trials are available for enrollment all around the world. With over 30,000 clinical trials in the United States alone, you can find trials that you would be willing to travel to.