Recent findings of a phase II clinical trial of imetelstat, a telomerase inhibitor, demonstrate that it could be a promising treatment approach for patients with essential thrombocythemia, which raises platelets to dangerous levels.
Myeloproliferative neoplasms are a group of disorders caused by an overproduction of a particular blood cell type. For example, essential thrombocythemia (ET) causes an abnormal increase in the number of platelets produced in the blood and bone marrow. Although most patients have a normal life expectancy, ET may develop into acute myeloid leukemia. Currently available drugs help manage symptoms and offer protection from heart attack or strokes, but more treatment options are necessary for those patients who are not responsive or who experienced adverse side effects.