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What Are the Long-Term Effects of Hydroxyurea?

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Published on October 29, 2014

Some people can be on Hydrea® (hydroxyurea) for an extended period of time. What are the long-term effects of this therapy? Dr. Bart Scott from Seattle Cancer Care Alliance discusses research for this treatment and the long-term safety of this medication.

This event was produced in association with City of Hope and sponsored by Patient Empowerment Network through educational grants from Incyte Corporation and Geron Corporation.

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Transcript | What Are the Long-Term Effects of Hydroxyurea?

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. 

Steve:

Hi. Thanks for being here. I’m Steve from Claremont. I have PV. I’ve taken the Hydrea, hydroxyurea. I wonder if people are becoming resistant to that at all. What are the long-term effects taking it for; I’ve been taking it about 10 years now I believe, possibly longer? And at what point do you decide on doing some other procedure?

Dr. Scott:

Well, there has been long-term follow-up of patients on Hydrea. There have been several different studies that have looked at Hydrea. And there’s a study called the FPSG, which stands for the French Polycythemia Vera Study Group.

And that was a randomized study evaluating Hydrea versus hypobromite, which is a drug that we don’t really use anymore because this randomized study between Hydrea and hypobromite showed that Hydrea was better at cyto reduction.

But this FPSG study group has, I think it was in 2012, reported long-term outcomes on patients treated with Hydrea versus P32, and there is a higher rate of conversion to MDS and AML among the patients who were treated with hypobromite. Sorry, not P32, but hypobromite.

And they also found that, in patients who need Hydrea plus another cyto-reductive agent, they also have a higher risk of conversion to MDS or AML.

But the patients who were treated with Hydrea alone and the patients who were treated with phlebotomy alone almost had very similar survival curves with a lower rate of conversion to MDS and AML.

So I think there’s a lot of good, long-term data looking at Hydrea that shows that it’s an effective therapy and that it’s safe to administer to patients with PV.

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.