Professor Claire Harrison wants to trial a new drug in people who have MPN who are unable to receive standard chemotherapy.
Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) are disorders that cause the bone marrow to produce too many blood cells. It includes disorders such as: polycythaemia vera (PV), a disorder in which too many red blood cells are made causing the blood to become thicker than normal, essential thrombocythaemia (ET), a disorder where there are too many platelets in the blood, which can cause the blood to clot, and myelofibrosis (MF), when the bone marrow is overactive, which causes scar tissue to develop (known as fibrosis). Doctors usually treat MPNs with a chemotherapy called hydroxycarbamide, which works by stopping the cancer cells repairing DNA if it becomes damaged. However, some people can’t take hydroxycarbamide and sometimes this chemotherapy can stop working for people.
Researchers think that a drug called ruxolitinib may help people with certain types of MPN. Often these disorders are a result of processes going wrong inside cells. In particular researchers think a process called ‘JAK signalling’ goes wrong in people with MPN and ruxolitinib might be able to reverse this to stop cancer cells from growing and dividing.
- See how well ruxolitinib works for people with PV and ET who can’t have the chemotherapy hydroxycarbamide
- See how safe it is in people with PV and ET