What’s the latest in promising MPN research news? Dr. Angela Fleischman shares an update about treatment research and discusses the importance of clinical trial participation.
Dr. Angela Fleischman is a physician scientist and assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of California, Irvine. Learn more about Dr. Fleischman.
My name is Angela Fleischman. I’m what’s called a physician scientist, meaning, I do research as well as see patients, and my focus for my entire career thus far has been on myeloproliferative neoplasms, specifically their role of inflammation in MPN. And I am at the University of California, Irvine in Southern California. So, nice to be here today.
Well, thank you so much for joining us and taking the time. Let’s talk about the latest developments in the field. What MPN clinical trials are you excited about right now?
So, I would say, there’s a lot of new clinical trials in the field for myelofibrosis, which is the most severe form of myeloproliferative neoplasm.
There tend to be more clinical trials because that’s a patient population in – I don’t want to say in more need, but they do have more need in terms of necessitating better treatments.
Drugs that are quite far along in clinical trials – and in order for a drug to make it to market, one needs to go through multiple clinical trials to demonstrate the safety, as well as efficacy. Things like a BET inhibitor are very, very promising in moving forward in clinical trials. Other medications for other diseases, such as polycythemia vera, not anymore in clinical trials, but excitingly, newly FDA-approved, was ropeginterferon (Besremi) for polycythemia vera.
So, that’s a real exciting development for polycythemia vera patients.
And now, we have – outside of the context of clinical trials, because I want to talk about what’s actually available to patients now, we now have three JAK inhibitors available for myelofibrosis patients. And really, since 2011, we had only had one, and then, more recently, a second JAK inhibitor, but now, we have three. So, now we’re moving into an era where we can tailor a specific JAK inhibitor for a specific myelofibrosis patient, depending on what their particular needs are. So, I think that that’s very promising. And then, there are lots of clinical trials combining JAK inhibitors with new drugs.
What do you want to leave MPN patients with, relating to clinical trial participation?
I would say that MPN patients today are the key to our future treatments.
Without participation in clinical trials today, there’s going to be no new drugs for myeloproliferative neoplasms. They’re just not going to appear. We need to test them in patients before them actually coming to market, and before really knowing whether they work or not. So, I would say that the MPN patients today are the key to the future of MPN treatments.