Andrew Kuykendall, MD, Assistant Member at Moffitt Cancer Center in the Department of Malignant Hematology discusses the typical treatment paradigm for polycythemia vera.

Polycythemia vera is a rare blood disorder characterized by an increased concentration of blood cells. In most cases, polycythemia vera is acquired but also associated with mutations in the JAK2 and TET2 genes. While patients can live for decades with this disorder, Dr. Kuykendall stresses the increased risk of thrombotic events. Symptoms of this disorder are varied and may include fevers, chills, itching, and fatigue. 

As Dr. Kuykendall explains, drug treatment for patients with polycythemia vera varies slightly depending on whether the patient is deemed at high risk for a thrombotic event or not. All patients, however, require frequent phlebotomies to maintain a hematocrit level of less than 45%. However, these phlebotomies can exacerbate severe iron deficiency already experienced by these patients. Currently, there is an ongoing phase 2 clinical trial for PTG-300 which has been shown to reduce hematocrit levels and reverse extreme iron deficiency. 

To learn more about polycythemia vera and other rare hematologic conditions, visit checkrare.com/diseases/hematology