Polycythemia vera (PV) is an acquired clonal hematopoietic stem cell disorder characterized by an overproduction of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets; thrombotic and hemorrhagic complications; and an increased risk of transformation to myelofibrosis and acute leukemia. In 1967, the Polycythemia Vera Study Group proposed the optimal approach to diagnosis and treatment of PV, and in 2002, investigators from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine surveyed the practice patterns of hematologists as they pertained to PV. Since this survey, the JAK2 V617F mutation was discovered, leading to a new era of discovery in the disease pathogenesis, diagnosis, and classification and treatment of PV. Our objective was to survey hematologists in the diagnosis and treatment of PV in the modern, post-JAK2 V617F discovery era. An anonymous 17-question survey was emailed to members of the Myeloproliferative Neoplasm (MPN) Research Foundation database and Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation. A total of 71 surveys were used in the analysis. Diagnostic testing varied according to the respondent's clinical experience and practice type. In addition, there were marked differences in target hematocrit and platelet count among those surveyed. There continue to be variations in diagnosis and treatment of PV despite WHO guidelines and the JAK2 discovery. US-based guidelines for MPNs are needed to create consistency in the management of PV and other MPNs.
Elizabeth M. Kander, Alison R. Moliterno, Alfred Rademaker, Michael B. Streiff, Jerry L. Spivak and Brady L. Stein
Brady L. Stein, Jason Gotlib, Murat Arcasoy, Marie Huong Nguyen, Neil Shah, Alison Moliterno, Catriona Jamieson, Daniel A. Pollyea, Bart Scott, Martha Wadleigh, Ross Levine, Rami Komrokji, Rebecca Klisovic, Krishna Gundabolu, Patricia Kropf, Meir Wetzler, Stephen T. Oh, Raul Ribeiro, Rita Paschal, Sanjay Mohan, Nikolai Podoltsev, Josef Prchal, Moshe Talpaz, David Snyder, Srdan Verstovsek and Ruben A. Mesa
The classical Philadelphia chromosome–negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN), which include essential thrombocythemia, polycythemia vera, and myelofibrosis (MF), are in a new era of molecular diagnosis, ushered in by the identification of the JAK2 V617F and cMPL mutations in 2005 and 2006, respectively, and the CALR mutations in 2013. Coupled with increased knowledge of disease pathogenesis and refined diagnostic criteria and prognostic scoring systems, a more nuanced appreciation has emerged of the burden of MPN in the United States, including the prevalence, symptom burden, and impact on quality of life. Biological advances in MPN have translated into the rapid development of novel therapeutics, culminating in the approval of the first treatment for MF, the JAK1/JAK2 inhibitor ruxolitinib. However, certain practical aspects of care, such as those regarding diagnosis, prevention of vascular events, choice of cytoreductive agent, and planning for therapies, present challenges for hematologists/oncologists, and are discussed in this article.