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Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPNs) | Srdan Verstovsek

Srdan Verstovsek, MD, PhD

Role: Director, Clinical Research Center for MPNs at MD Anderson; Section Chief, MPNs; Prof., Dept. of Leukemia
Focus: Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN)
Institution: MD Anderson

Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPNs)

Srdan Verstovsek, MD, PhD

Dr. Srdan Verstovsek, professor of medicine and hematologist-oncologist at MD Anderson, is a global leader in myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN).

As the founder and director of the largest MPN Clinical Research Center worldwide, Dr. Verstovsek led many different important phases of trials for emerging MPN medications and published more than 600 peer-reviewed pieces/articles in leading medical journals.


Dr. Srdan Verstovsek’s Interviews


Myeloid/Lymphoid Neoplasm Breakthrough (2022)



Dr. Verstovsek describes one of the most exciting drug developments has happened for MLN patients.

Polycythemia Vera (2022)



In segment 2 of our conversation with Srdan Vertsovsek, MD, PhD of MD Anderson, he shares the latest on research for polycythemia vera or PV treatments.

Myelofibrosis Treatment Options (March 2022)



Dr. Verstovsek gives a detailed overview of latest research involving myelofibrosis treatments, with a highlight on the recently approved MF drug pacritinib.

Introductions

Stephanie Chuang, The Patient Story:  Hi, everyone, it’s Stephanie, with The Patient Story, and I’m really excited to be able to introduce our special guest today as he is a worldwide leader in this field. Serge Verstovsek, thank you so much for joining us. Really appreciate your time today.

Dr. Serge Verstovsek: Thank you, Stephanie. It’s a great pleasure to be on the program today. I appreciate you coming to Houston to interview me.

The Patient Story: Just so everyone knows, you are a professor of medicine and hematologist-oncologist at MD Anderson. You’re also the founder-director of the largest clinical research center on MPN’s in the world, which is amazing. And the first thing I want to start off with is to set the stage for people who haven’t met you. I had sort of joked, you’re like The Godfather in this, and that was my word, not yours, but in that, you have been from the very beginning in this field. And now what’s exciting is there are a lot more developments. So you’ve seen everything.

I’d like to understand more about what got you into this area. What interested you and how it was all the way back, and you said 2004 when you started.

What interested you in this area and how was it back then?

Dr. Serge Verstovsek:  I still feel young in the field because I’m still a teenager. If you count from 2004 to now, that’s not too long, and there are many older colleagues that I’m learning from.

It’s lifelong learning in the medical field and particularly myeloproliferative neoplasms or MPN’s. Because so much new knowledge is gathered in so many new therapies are being developed. It’s extremely effective and extremely hot. If you like a field for new drug development, we need it. And that’s what brought me to the field.

When I started my career in hematology-oncology some 20-23 years ago, there was not much for MPN patients that there was available at all. Most were given some kind of form of chemotherapy or what we call supportive care therapy or palliative care. That means they were sent to the hospice soon.

Particularly patients with myelofibrosis, the most aggressive among MPN’s that usually you read life expectancy only about maybe five or seven years, which obviously changed since then.

But imagine some 15-20 years ago, there was not much to do. So that is what brought me to the field to discover and help people that were coming to see me and us at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston as being here center where we did not have anything to offer to MPN patients. So we established the center and now through team effort.

Remember, this is a team effort. I am just a representative of many good people that work with me. We are really in a position to lead many studies for possible approval for patients with MPN and other conditions, not just myelofibrosis. And I hope that within the next three or five years, we will have another four or five new drugs on the market and be able to really make a difference long-term for our patients.

Remember, this is a team effort. I am just a representative of many good people that work with me.


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