Being an Everyday Hero For Patients With MPN
In the 2020 Hematology 1 special edition of CURE magazine, we highlight what it means to be an everyday hero by living with MPN or helping patients with the disease cope with it.
BY Mike Hennessy Sr., Chairman and Founder
PUBLISHED March 10, 2020
What does an 11-year-old boy have in common with some of the country’s exceptional oncology health care professionals? Each one is someone’s hero.
At CURE Media Group’s annual MPN Heroes® event, audience members saw that heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and not all of them are saving lives — some are fighting for their own.
Eight heroes and one Canadian champion were honored for the work that they do for people with a rare group of blood cancers known as myeloproliferative neoplasms, or MPNs: polycythemia vera, essential thrombocythemia and myelofibrosis.
This is one of the memorable events that CURE® hosts throughout the year to put a spotlight on clinicians, researchers, patient advocates and caregivers. Within these pages, you will meet people who turned their passion and, in some cases, pain into purpose. Read how they have helped others through their commitment to either individual patients or the MPN community.
Also within this special issue, a feature story explores the latest in treatment options for patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, more commonly called DLBCL, the most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Chemotherapy has been a major player in the treatment of this disease, and combining newer medications, such as Rituxan (ritux- imab), with older drugs has helped patients live longer.
Leading-edge therapies are also working wonders for patients who have relapsed disease or stopped responding to treatment. These include chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapies, which enlist a patient’s own T cells to help fight off their disease. Experimental drugs called bispecific T-cell engagers, or BiTEs, are also making waves. Although the research on BiTEs is still in its early stages, the drugs are generating hope for what’s to come — scientists have seen them lead to responses in patients who didn’t respond to CAR-T cell therapy.
And a hematology expert highlights the most recent Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitor approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Dr. Lindsey Roeker compares the drug Calquence (acalabrutinib) with Imbruvica (ibrutinib) and discusses what these medications mean for patients regarding both extending life and affecting its quality.