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How does frequent monitoring help you manage PV more effectively?

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The idea of individual care for patients with PV, I think, is extremely important.

So the first important consideration is the patient’s overall risk of thrombosis.

We have to learn the patient’s disease in terms of what are their phlebotomy requirements; not everybody will have the same phlebotomy requirements. And so I think when somebody is initially diagnosed, it’s important to get frequent blood counts to really try to determine is this somebody who needs to be phlebotomized every month, every three months, every six months. That’s one important step.

The second thing relates to a patient’s general medical conditions. We know that things like having diabetes, having high cholesterol, and having high blood pressure increase the risk of having a thrombotic event even more, and so those are things we need to optimize in a patient with PV.

So it’s important to assess those things when meeting a patient for the first time, and to do things to reduce those risks. The third thing relates to a patient’s symptoms. We know that patients can have variable symptoms in PV, and so it’s important to understand what those symptoms are when meeting a patient, and to do what we can to optimize the patient’s symptoms.

Some patients are largely asymptomatic; on the other hand, we have patients who are quite symptomatic. One important thing to remember is that that doesn’t always relate to a patient’s hematocrit. Patients can have what we would call controlled hematocrit but still be very symptomatic. And so for that reason it’s important to take a very thorough assessment of a patient’s symptoms when assessing their overall status as a PV patient.

The important point, I think, is that we can’t put all patients into one box.

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Raajit K Rampal, MD, PhD Hematologic Oncologist Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | New York, NY
Dr Rampal is a hematology-oncology physician specializing in the treatment of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) and leukemia. As an active researcher, Dr Rampal is working to understand the genetic events that contribute to the development and progression of MPNs/leukemia and is focused on the development of new and innovative approaches to the treatment of these diseases.