The major decisions to treat patients and also the timing and choice of therapy are in the hands of their local hematologist-oncologist. I always say the local heme-oncs are heroes for me, because they have to keep up with what’s happening for lymphoma, for brain cancer, or kidney cancer. And then suddenly there is a patient with myelofibrosis. They might see, on average, just a few patients a year. Myelofibrosis is very rarely seen by any local doctor. But that doctor, he or she, wants to help those patients in the best possible way. But there are still so many questions with myelofibrosis therapy: How does it work? How do we adjust dosing? What are the side effects? That’s why I’m here to help.
There are still so many questions with myelofibrosis therapy. How does it work? How do we adjust dosing? What are the side effects? So, eventually I would like a team effort to be in place so that the local doctor can say, “I would like to do this and that.” And we engage together – not necessarily where the patient needs to come and see me. Why partner with an MPN specialist? The doctor can do a good job, but because of the rarity of the disease or the lack of experience in treating a large number of patients, it is always good to connect, and the team effort will benefit the patients the most.
And now that we have more options for these patients, it’s even more important. I had a comment from a colleague in the field who told me, “Now we have more drugs for MF approved than I see patients! Which one do I choose?” He sees maybe two patients a year, and we now have three drugs that are approved. And more to come.