What are the recent developments in the study and advancement of care for patients with polycythemia vera (PV)? Dr. Gabriela Hobbs reviews recently approved PV treatments as well as those currently in clinical trials.
Dr. Gabriela Hobbs is a hematology-oncology physician specializing in the care of patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN), chronic myeloid leukemia, and leukemia. Dr. Hobbs serves as clinical director of the adult leukemia service at Massachusetts General Hospital. Learn more about Dr. Hobbs.
There was recently an interferon approved for use in patients with PV. What other studies are showing promise for patients with PV?
Yeah. So, we as a community, there’s been a lot of excitement about this new interferon that was approved, the ropeginterferon (Besremi) study. And there are still some ongoing studies utilizing ropeginterferon to see if we can use it differently.
Because currently the way that that drug is approved is that it has to be titrated up very slowly to get to the maximum dose. So, that’s something that is still ongoing. In addition, there’s a new drug that’s being studied called Rusfertide (PTG-300) from a company called Protagonist. And this drug has been very interesting. It acts through iron metabolism.
And so far in preliminary results, it has shown that a lot of the participants that receive this medication no longer need phlebotomy. And I think what’s exciting about this is that phlebotomy is a very archaic way of treating patients.
And I hope that we can stop utilizing it. So, it’s nice to have a compound that’s specifically asking that question. And the other thing to keep in mind is that this drug has been used in combination with other drugs, which is really reflective of how participants or patients show up to clinics.
Some patients are not going to be on any medications. Some patients may be on hydroxyurea (Hydrea).
Some patients may be on an interferon. Some patients may be on ruxolitinib (Jakafi). And these trials allow participants to be on a variety of different medications. So, that’s an exciting new compound.