How are myeloproliferative diseases treated?
Treatment depends on the type. General treatment options for myeloproliferative diseases include:
- Chemotherapy - This is medicine that targets the abnormal blood cells.
- Immunotherapy - Your doctor could prescribe an interferon – a type of immunotherapy medicine – to stimulate an immune response that targets the abnormal blood cells.
- Blood transfusions - Healthy red blood cells can be injected into your bloodstream to treat anemia caused by myelofibrosis or another myeloproliferative disease.
- Medicines - Medications such as erythropoietin and thalidomide can also be used to treat anemia.
The first line treatment for polycythemia vera uses phlebotomy, removing blood from your system to lower red blood cell counts.
A blood and marrow transplant can treat myelofibrosis if you are a good candidate. This procedure injects healthy blood-forming cells into your bloodstream. When myelofibrosis is progressing slowly, your doctor could suggest active surveillance – watching the disease and delaying treatment until it is needed.
In some cases, chronic neutrophilic leukemia can be treated with targeted drug therapies – drugs that target abnormal blood cells directly and have less side effects than chemotherapy.
Immunotherapy is an advanced cancer treatment that helps your body’s immune system fight cancer. It can be an effective way to treat blood disorders and is one of the most promising innovations available today for the treatment, cure and prevention of certain blood cancers like multiple myeloma, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Hodgkin disease.
Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Bone marrow is the tissue inside your bones that produces red and white blood cells and platelets. If you experience a blood disorder, a bone marrow transplant, also known as a stem cell transplant, can be used to replace your damaged blood cells with healthy, blood-forming stem cells.
The Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation program at Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health South Florida provides advanced treatment options to patients with blood cancers like leukemia, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Hodgkin disease, or Hodgkin lymphoma.
A multidisciplinary team of cancer experts including surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, plastic reconstructive surgeons, pathologists, radiologists, genetic counselors, medical geneticists, social workers, patient navigators and clinical trials staff meet weekly to discuss select complex cases and determine the best course of care. Stem cell transplantation experts and hematologic oncology experts are also available to discuss complex cases.
Miami Cancer Institute can provide access to clinical trials not widely available elsewhere. Clinical trials find new ways to treat and diagnose cancer and are ongoing. If an appropriate trial is available, we will talk to you about the benefits and risks.
Patient Support Services
Taking care of the whole patient is an important component of providing personalized cancer care. Integrated into the fabric of the Miami Cancer Institute, the Cancer Patient Support Center addresses the psychological, physical, social and spiritual needs of our patients during cancer treatment and beyond.