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Diet For MPNs: A Nutritional Study

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Published on July 21, 2020

Can Lifestyle and Diet Affect an MPN Patient's Outcome?

Dr. Angela Fleishman, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology; UC Irvine Health and Patient Power co-founder, Esther Schorr discuss a new study investigating the affect of diet on MPN patient health outcomes. The study is being done online to reach to MPN patients globally. For more information, please visit www.wearempn.org.

This is Part 1 of a 2 part series, watch Part 2 Hereditary Trends in MPNs.

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Transcript | Diet For MPNs: A Nutritional Study

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.

 Esther Schorr:

Greetings. This is Esther Schorr in Southern California with Patient Power. And I'm here today with Dr. Angela Fleischman, who is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the University of California, Irvine Health. Welcome Dr. Fleischman, it's good to see you again.

Dr. Fleischman:

Thank you. Very good to see you.

Esther Schorr:

Yep. So, what we wanted to talk a little bit about today is MPN patients and how they can take an active role in their own health. I know that those can be lifestyle changes. It can be how they interact with their medical teams, but if you can just talk a little bit about what are the active things that an MPN patient can do, and maybe we can also discuss some of the studies that are going on as well.

 Dr. Fleischman:

Okay. Well thank you. Yes. I think this is a very important topic, really, not only for MPN, but for anybody's health in general, to realize that the patient or the person themselves is truly the most important participant in their care, what they do, how they eat, how they exercise, how they live their life is very, very important for their management. And it's particularly important for MPN, which is a chronic disease that people live with their entire life. And there's little that we know of, in terms of conventional medical therapies that are known to alter the natural history of the disease. So it puts a big opportunity on the patient, to try to live their life in a way that is most conducive to a very stable course for their disease.

And research is just in its infancy in terms of how lifestyle changes can impact myeloproliferative neoplasms. We all know that diet is important for the way we feel. Anybody knows that if they eat poorly, they're going to feel poorly. If they eat well, they're just going to feel a lot better. And we're beginning to investigate this in patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms. Everybody obviously wants a magic bullet saying, “What should I eat? What should I not eat?” But in order to be able to make those recommendations, research is needed to be done.

Esther Schorr:

So Dr. Fleischman, I understand that you've been involved in some current studies that relate to trying to figure out kind of what the parameters are, or what are the kinds of things people can be doing to have a healthy lifestyle. Can you just talk a little bit about that?

Dr. Fleischman:

Okay. Yeah. Thank you. So we are just beginning to investigate the impact of diet in MPN. Initially, we performed a very small study on patients in Southern California, simply to see if we give MPN patients dietary counseling with an in-person dietician visit and some PDF written curriculum, are they able to follow a prescribed diet?

And yes, they are. Now what we're moving on to is a wholly online based dietary intervention, where participants will have a Zoom based, dietician counseling, and also have written curriculum. We will see whether this is a feasible method for educating MPN patients. We're hoping to have that open very soon, as soon as we have our, our institutional ethics board approval, but we hope to... because it's online, be able to reach patients everywhere and start to answer the question of whether, if you change the diet, can it positively impact MPN patient's symptoms.

Esther Schorr:

Sounds great. Well, thank you for sharing that. So, we now have a little bit more information about how MPN patients can take better care of themselves. They really need to be an active participant in their own care, by adjusting and working with what will keep yourself most healthy. And those guidelines are evolving as Dr. Fleischman has shared with us. So this is Esther Schorr from Patient Power, and remember, knowledge can be the best medicine of all.

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.

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