What Are Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPNs)?

Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) occur when the body produces too many of a specific type of blood cell. There are several types of MPNs, identified by the types of blood cells that are affected. The four main types include:

  • Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML): An abnormal chromosome called the Philadelphia chromosome causes the body to produce too many granulocytes, a type of white blood cell. The granulocytes are normal, but they grow uncontrollably and can accumulate in the spleen, causing it to become enlarged and painful.
  • Essential thrombocythemia: The bone marrow produces too many platelets.
  • MyelofibrosisAbnormal cells that are responsible for producing platelets cause scarring in the tissue in the bone marrow, so it can no longer produce enough blood cells.
  • Polycythemia vera: The bone marrow produces too many red blood cells.

Why Roswell Park for MPNs?

Although MPNs are relatively rare, affecting fewer than three in every 100,000 people, the MPN experts on the Leukemia team at Roswell Park have extensive hands-on experience in diagnosing and treating these conditions and managing their side effects.

Swapna Thota, MD, a member of Roswell Park’s Leukemia team, plays a national role in setting the standard of care for the treatment of MPNs as a member of the MPN Guidelines Panel of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN). The NCCN Guidelines specify the best ways of preventing, detecting and treating different types of cancer, and are the most widely used standards in the United States.

Access to Clinical Research Studies

In addition to standard therapies, eligible patients have access to clinical trials of promising new treatments. Patients who enroll in clinical trials are often among the first to benefit from treatments that later go on to become the standard of care.

Some clinical trials at Roswell Park involve emerging drugs that target JAK2, a genetic mutation associated with myelofibrosis and other MPNs. These JAK2 inhibitors often improve patients’ quality of life by reducing the side effects of the disease, such as fever, enlarged spleen, poor appetite, fatigue, night sweats, itching, and pain in the bone, muscle and abdomen.

A Top Center for Blood and Marrow Transplantation

If you have myelofibrosis, CML or another MPN for which a blood and marrow transplant (BMT) might be recommended, you’ll be in good hands with continued care in Roswell Park’s Transplant & Cellular Therapy Center — one of the nation’s best, based on patient survival.

Support Services in One Convenient Location

As a Roswell Park patient, you’ll receive highly specialized care from diagnosis through follow-up, with specialized and support services in one location to manage both the medical and non-medical issues associated with your diagnosis. Dietitians, physical and occupational therapists, social workers, a psychologist and other members of your team will identify and address your needs.

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