Myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) treatment goals can vary widely among patients, so how do care providers work with different goal types? Expert Dr. Idoroenyi Amanam from City of Hope explains how treatment approaches can vary, his perspective in shared decision-making, and advice for patients to receive optimal care.
“I would recommend that you get a clear expectation, with your diagnosis as to what that means for you specifically and what the treatments will do for you short-term and long-term.”
So, Dr. Amanam, you probably have patients coming in with a wide spectrum of knowledge from patients who want to be told what to do for treatment to patients who might even bring in abstracts from ASCO and ASH. So how do you work with your patients to make those treatment decisions? And a second part to that question is, with increasing treatment options, what should your MPN patients consider when deciding on treatments?
Dr. Indoroenyi Amanam:
So I believe that it’s very important to understand contextually where the patient’s coming from. And you’re right, I think some patients actually want to receive a presentation on the data. From a randomized Phase III clinical trial, there are some patients who are not interested in hearing about the data. They just want you to tell them what you think. And I think understanding where a patient’s coming from is very important. And so I believe, at least from my experience with the diversity of experiences in my own life, that I have the capacity to really gauge what patients need in order to proceed forward with the treatment that they’re most comfortable with. I think that’s the answer to that question. For with…in regards to increasing treatment options, it’s difficult because I think we’re in a very exciting time for MPN patients, we have a lot of treatment options.
We have a lot of clinical trials, we have a lot of…we have more FDA-approved therapies than we did 10 years ago. And I think it’s important to set the expectations as to what a therapy does. So some therapies will potentially decrease the risk of the disease progressing. There are some therapies that really help improve symptoms. There are some therapies that do both, and I think it’s very important to be very clear as to what each individual therapy does and the side effects associated with those therapies. And it usually, for the most part, patients are pretty…they declare themselves as to what they’re looking for. I think everyone walking into a room who’ve been told that they have cancer, they want to cure, but once you set the expectations that for MPNs this is possibly a chronic disease, and there are some issues associated with the chronic disease that we have to manage. And I think once it’s clear as to what MPN means for the patients, it changes the understanding of wanting a cure.
And I think, I will say I want for us to get to a point where we can cure all patients, but we don’t, we aren’t not there yet. And so ensuring that patients have a good quality of life is the most important thing for me and really being happy with what we’re doing in terms of treatment.
So my activation tip for this question is, I would recommend that you get a clear expectation, with your diagnosis as to what that means for you specifically and what the treatments will do for you short-term and long-term.