Tool may reveal optimal time for SCT in MF


Photo by Jean Beaufort

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A new tool can help patients with myelofibrosis (MF) decide when to pursue stem cell transplant (SCT), according to the MPN Research Foundation.

The SCT Spectrum Transplant Timing tool (SSTT) is an online MF risk calculator.

It is designed to inform patients of their risk status in a timely manner so they can be proactive in speaking to their doctors about SCT.

“There is an optimal time to start SCT, simply because the odds of success soar in our favor when we start early rather than late in the game,” said Zhenya Senyak, editor of MPN Forum, an MF patient, and creator of the SSTT.

“The SCT Spectrum Timing Tool can help inform the timing of that decision.”

The SSTT incorporates the Dynamic International Prognostic Scoring System (DIPSS), asking patients about their age, white blood cell count, hemoglobin level, peripheral blood blast percentage, and constitutional symptoms.

Patients’ answers are used to create a color signal that indicates their current MF risk level. Accompanying information explains what the risk level means, provides median survival times for that level, and alerts patients of the relative urgency of SCT.

Patients can review these results with their hematologist to ensure accuracy and incorporate risk factors not measured by the SSTT.

The SSTT also includes resources to support SCT discussions between patients and hematologists.

Senyak created SSTT with help from the MPN SCT Transplantation Timing Taskforce, a group of 18 MPN and transplant specialists, patient advocates, and SCT survivors. The work was sponsored by the MPN Research Foundation.

“The decision of whether or not to pursue a stem cell transplant is incredibly fraught for any person,” said Ruben Mesa, MD, a member of the MPN SCT Transplantation Timing Taskforce.

“Our hope in assisting with this effort is to lend our knowledge and experience to create a guide to assist with patient-doctor communication around this very complicated issue.”

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