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Can Essential Thrombocythemia Cause Inflammation?

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Published on December 10, 2018

During this Ask the Expert segment, a Patient Power community member wants to know if inflammation can be related to essential thrombocythemia (ET). Leading myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) expert Dr. Naveen Pemmaraju, from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, responds by explaining the connection between ET and inflammation, and discusses ongoing clinical research with therapies to help reduce it.

This is a Patient Empowerment Network program. We thank Incyte Corporation for their support.

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Transcript | Can Essential Thrombocythemia Cause Inflammation?

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That's how you’ll get care that's most appropriate for you.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Andrew Schorr:

Here is a question from Erin, as we’re getting near the end of our program. “Can ET ever cause systemic inflammation? And is that what causes symptoms? The inflammation.”

Dr. Pemmaraju:           

Yes, yes, and yes. So, inflammation, I think, used to be a word that may have been potentially, if I may say, a wastebasket term, but now is a very specific term. So, now we know that a lot of our hematologic disorders and malignancies lead to a high level of inflammation. That means tissue damage. Tissue injury. That’s what inflammation means. There are some conditions that the patient does not even have a blood cancer diagnosis, but has a molecular mutation, that’s called CHIP (clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential), and those patients appear to have a higher likelihood of cardiovascular disease and death. That’s New England Journal ofMedicine. The likely pathway is inflammation. 

In our patients with MPN, even the quote unquote, earlier stages, such as ET and PV. This is a disease of cytokines and inflammation. So, high levels of abnormal messengers and signals. So, yes, inflammation is part of the disease, patients have a higher rate of cardiovascular events and death. That’s inflammation. And then of course, the bone marrow milieu itself, as it progresses to myelofibrosis has an up ramp, if you will, of cytokines and inflammation. Last part of it is the therapies that we’re working on are trying to either target inflammation itself, or to bring down that level.  

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.