MPN AA supporting research into a new way to treat iron deficiency symptoms for PV patients

MPN AA is supporting MPN research at Melbourne’s Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, investigating a new way to treat iron deficiency symptoms and improve quality of life for people living with polycythaemia vera (PV). 100% of all tax deductable donations to MPN AA from now until the EOFY will go towards this important research.

Please use this link to make a tax deductable donation to this study:…/donate.aspx…

This study is led by haematologists A/Prof Kate Burbury and Dr Sant-Rayn Pasricha, and medical scientist Dr Cavan Bennett.

Here is a lay summary of this study provided by the researchers:

‘Polycythaemia Vera (PV) is a myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) in which overproduction of red blood cells leaves patients at risk of complications including blood clots. PV affects ~15,000 Australians. The mainstay of treatment is venesection (blood withdrawal) which removes excess red blood cells and induces iron deficiency (iron is critical for the production of new red blood cells). However, venesection requires insertion of a large needle which can cause discomfort and bruising, is inconvenient as it requires patients to attend a clinic or day centre for care, and can cause fluid shifts which are difficult to manage. Finally, venesection induces total body, rather than blood specific, iron deficiency which can produce adverse effects (such as fatigue, restless legs, and cognitive dysfunction) that impair quality of life.

Iron levels are therefore critical in PV, and are regulated by specific hormones. We believe manipulating iron levels could be used as a protective mechanism to reduce the excessive red blood cell production in PV. Using a series of experimental models, we will uncover the mechanisms of iron regulation specific to PV patients and learn how these can be harnessed to help treat the disease. We will use a novel therapeutic (that is more convenient and predicted to have less side effects than conventional venesection) to manipulate iron levels and study whether this can treat the disease. We expect that the results of our studies will directly lead to a clinical trial for a new class of drug in the treatment of PV.’

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