Essential thrombocythemia (ET) is a clonal hematopoietic stem cell myeloproliferative disorder characterized by megakaryocytic hyperplasia and persistent thrombocytosis. The clinical presentation and evolution of ET are heterogeneous. This review highlights the current treatment options in the management of ET, including hydroxyurea, anagrelide and both regular and pegylated interferons. Anagrelide, while very effective at controlling counts and symptoms in most patients, may not consistently reduce the bone marrow megakaryocyte mass. Interferon is very effective and not associated with leukemogenesis, but has not been proven to restore polyclonal hematopoiesis and has significant dose-related adverse events. Pegylated interferon represents a significant improvement over the unmodified interferon preparations. Novel therapeutic options directed towards eradication of the malignant ET clone are required.
- Essential thrombocythemia
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