Expert Insights

Part 1: Identifying Patients With Advanced PV

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Dr Shammo: Polycythemia vera is a hematological malignancy that may become advanced in a subset of patients despite treatment with hydroxyurea and phlebotomy, resulting in ineffective disease control.

Narrator: Clinical characteristics of advanced PV may include hematocrit greater than or equal to 45% plus one additional risk factor despite treatment with hydroxyurea and phlebotomy. Specifically, clinical characteristics of advanced PV may include hematocrit greater than or equal to 45% plus elevated white blood cell count greater than 11x109 per liter or burdensome disease-related symptoms such as fatigue, early satiety, inactivity, concentration problems, and itching.

Dr Shammo: Well, anytime you have a patient who has PV and has a hematocrit greater than 45%, you can correctly assume that the risk of thrombosis is definitely elevated. And the same could be said, although somewhat hampered by the retrospective nature of that finding, but I think it would be reasonable to also say that leukocytosis can also represent another factor for the increased risk of thrombosis.

I think the symptom burden of patients who have PV have been largely underrepresented and underappreciated.

Narrator: Actively monitor for hematocrit plus in your patients with polycythemia vera.

Image of Jamile M Shammo, MD, FASCP, FACP
Jamile M Shammo, MD, FASCP, FACP Associate Professor Rush University Medical Center | Chicago, IL
As principal investigator of clinical trials in her area of expertise, Dr Shammo is heavily involved in education, research, and administrative activities in the Division of Hematology/Oncology. She is recognized nationally for her expertise in bone marrow failure syndromes/paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) and was chosen to serve as a national coordinator for the US PNH registry.