More patient education and patient-physician communication among those with myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) may improve care and satisfaction, according to a study published in Cancer.1

Researchers led by Ruben Mesa, MD, of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center in Scottsdale, Arizona, conducted a survey that included 813 patients who had MPNs, polycythemia vera (PV), or essential thrombocythemia (ET), as well as 457 hematologist/oncologist respondents who treated patients diagnosed with these conditions.

It was found that a greater proportion of physician respondents used prognostic risk classifications in contrast with patient recollections.

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Whereas most physician respondents reported symptom assessments that would include asking a full list of symptoms, patient respondents reported that their assessments were less specific.

Many patient respondents did not recognize that symptoms were related to MPN, with about a half or more not believing that difficulty sleeping was because of MPN. More than a third of patient respondents reported that they were not “very satisfied” with the overall management/communication of their physicians.

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Compared to patient respondents, physicians underestimated the proportion of patients who had symptomatic PV or ET at diagnosis, and the researchers noted a disparity in treatment goals between the 2 groups.


  1. Mesa RA, Miller CB, Thyne M, et al. Differences in treatment goals and perception of symptom burden between patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) and hematologists/oncologists in the United States: Findings from the MPN Landmark survey. Cancer. 2016 Sep 30. doi: 10.1002/cncr.30325 [Epub ahead of print]