Myeloproliferative neoplasm (patient information)

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: , Maneesha Nandimandalam, M.B.B.S.[2]


Myeloproliferative neoplasms are diseases of the blood and bone marrow. Meloproliferative neoplasms are a group of diseases in which the bone marrow makes too many white blood cells. There are different types of myeloproliferative neoplasms. In myeloproliferative diseases, a greater than normal number of blood stem cells become one or more types of blood cells and the total number of blood cells slowly increases.

What are the Symptoms of (Disease name)?

  • Fever or frequent infections.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Feeling very tired and weak.
  • Pale skin.
  • Easy bruising or bleeding.
  • Petechiae (flat, pinpoint spots under the skin caused by bleeding).
  • Pain or a feeling of fullness below the ribs

What Causes (disease name)?

Who is at Highest Risk?

  • Older age.
  • Being male.
  • Being exposed to certain substances at work or in the environment.
  • Being exposed to radiation.
  • Past treatment with certain anticancer drugs.


When to Seek Urgent Medical Care?

Treatment Options

Five types of standard treatment are used:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Other drug therapy
  • Stem cell transplant
  • Supportive care
  • Targeted therapy


Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. When chemotherapy is taken by mouth or injected into a vein or muscle, the drugs enter the bloodstream and can reach cancer cells throughout the body (systemic chemotherapy). When chemotherapy is placed directly into the cerebrospinal fluid, an organ, or a body cavity such as the abdomen, the drugs mainly affect cancer cells in those areas (regional chemotherapy). The way the chemotherapy is given depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated. Combination chemotherapy is treatment using more than one anticancer drug.

Other drug therapy

13-cis retinoic acid is a vitamin-like drug that slows the cancer's ability to make more cancer cells and changes the way these cells look and act.

Stem cell transplant

Stem cell transplant is a treatment to replace the blood-forming cells. Stem cells (immature blood cells) are removed from the blood or bone marrow of the patient or a donor and are frozen and stored. After the patient completes chemotherapy, the stored stem cells are thawed and given back to the patient through an infusion. These reinfused stem cells grow into (and restore) the body's blood cells.

Supportive care

Supportive care is given to lessen the problems caused by the disease or its treatment. Supportive care may include transfusion therapy or drug therapy, such as antibiotics to fight infection.

Targeted therapy

Targeted therapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs or other substances to attack cancer cells without harming normal cells. Targeted therapy drugs called tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are used to treat myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasm, unclassifiable. TKIs block the enzyme, tyrosine kinase, that causes stem cells to become more blood cells (blasts) than the body needs. Imatinib mesylate (Gleevec) is a TKI that may be used. Other targeted therapy drugs are being studied in the treatment of JMML.

Where to find Medical Care for (Disease name)?

Medical care for (disease name) can be found here.


There is no established method for primary prevention of myeloproliferative neoplasm. Routine monitoring of the complete blood count on a yearly basis is sufficient for monitoring.Secondary prevention measures include routine monitoring of laboratory values, including complete blood count (CBC) and metabolic panel. The frequency of laboratory checks varies depending on the severity disease and the clinical assessment.

What to Expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?

The prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options for CMML depend on the following:

  • The number of white blood cells or platelets in the blood or bone marrow.
  • Whether the patient is anemic.
  • The amount of blasts in the blood or bone marrow.
  • The amount of hemoglobin in red blood cells.
  • Whether there are certain changes in the chromosomes.

Possible Complications

The possible complications are Anemia, appetite loss, bleeding and bruising (Thrombocytopenia), constipation, delirium, diarrhea, edema (Swelling), fatigue, fertility Issues in boys and men, fertility Issues in girls and women, flu-like symptoms, hair loss (alopecia), infection and neutropenia, lymphedema, ,memory or concentration problems, mouth and throat problems, nausea and vomiting, nerve problems (Peripheral Neuropathy), organ-related inflammation and immunotherapy, pain,sexual health issues in men, sexual health issues in women, skin and nail changes, sleep problems, urinary and bladder problems.


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