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What are MPNs

  • Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are types of rare blood cancers that cause the overproduction of blood cells in the bone marrow, due to genetic mutations that originate in the stem cells. This genetic mutation leads to the increased numbers of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets.  Elevated numbers of these cells can increase the risk for stroke, blood clots, and heart attacks, as well as other serious complications.  MPNs may progress to more aggressive forms of cancer such as acute leukemia.  


  • The three main types of MPNs are essential thrombocythemia (ET), polycythemia vera (PV) and myelofibrosis (MF). Each type has its own set of symptoms and complications, which can be different for every patient.   Currently, there is no cure for any of the MPNs.


  •  Some patients may develop ET first and then may or may not, over many years, progress to PV or MF. Some patients may be initially diagnosed with PV or MF.  Progression from one condition to another varies greatly, as do treatments for each condition.  


  •  Symptoms commonly associated with MPNs are:  fatigue, skin itchiness, abdominal pain, headaches, fever, bone pain, early satiety, weight loss, and night sweats.

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