Treatment policy prepared by
Dr. Jeannie Callum
Updated May 2003
PV is a chronic, clonal, myeloproliferative disorder, classically associated with an increase in red cellmass, leukocytosis, thrombocytosis, splenomegaly, thrombosis and bleeding.
2 in 100 000 incidence with peak age of 60.
20% of patients present with thrombosis and 30% develop in follow-up despite control of disease in along-term follow-up study of 1213 patients over a 20-year period, followed for a median of 6 years .
Thrombosis sites – stroke/TIA > AMI > DVT/PE > Peripheral arterial thrombosis > hepatic /portal vein
- Patients < 60 years AND no history of prior thrombosis – 20%/15 years (1%/yr)
- Patients > 60 years OR history of thrombosis – 40%/15 years (3%/yr)
Cause of death: 50% related to PV (24% arterial thrombosis, 15% AML, 5% venous thrombosis, 3%
major hemorrhage, 2% spent phase complications)
Highest rates of thrombosis = age > 70, history of thrombosis, active disease (> 6
Hepatic and portal vein thrombosis can be the first manifestation of the disease before rise in red
5% of patients with ET eventually fulfill the criteria for PV 
(a) Hyperviscosity – headache, dizziness, tinnitus, dyspnea, weakness, chest pain (b) Ruddy skin(c) Hemorrhage(d) Splenomegaly – 66%(e) Cyanotic extremities(f) Aquagenic pruritus(g) Erythromelalgia (esp. with extreme thrombocytosis)(h) Arterial & Venous thrombosis(i) Hypertension(j) Gastric and duodenal erosions and ulcers
Median survival of untreated PV is 18 months
15% will progress to myelofibrosis at 10 years, with median life-expectancy after the diagnosis of the
TSRCC Hematology Site Group Treatment Policies
The following criteria are used to make diagnosis of PV:
1. Raised RBC mass (male > 36 ml/kg: females > 32 ml/kg)2. Absence of any secondary cause of erythrocytosis3. Bone marrow biopsy – increased cellularity, enlarged megakaryocytes with hyperploid nuclei or
clusters of megakaryocytes, increase reticulin (optional)
1. Platelet count > 4002. Granulocytes > 103. Splenomegaly by palpation or ultrasound4. Spontaneous EEC in absence of epo
A123 – early PV
A123 + any B – overt PV
A3 + B1 – Essential thrombocythemia
CBC and blood film
Peripheral blood or BM for PCR for BCR-ABL to exclude CML
Ultrasound abdomen – if spleen not palpable
BM – Confirmatory marrow histology should be established before embarking on
- BM shows hyperplasia of the myeloid, erythroid and megakaryocyte lineages, enlarged
megakaryocytes with hyperploid nuclei or clusters of megakaryocytes, increase reticulin
- Cytogenetics – 30% have a detectable clonal abnormality; del 20q is the most common
1. Longest survival2. Fewest complications of disease – thrombosis, bleeding, and myelofibrosis (MF)3. Fewest complications of treatment – AML, MDS, NHL, other malignancies
Goal – HCT > 0.45
Hazardous to aggressively phlebotomize at diagnosis – therefore isovolemic therapy for extreme
erythrocytosis (Hct > 0.60) at diagnosis
1. PVSG-01 RCT – phlebotomy vs. 32-P vs. chlorambucil 
Patients in the phlebotomy alone arm had an unacceptable risk of thrombosis vs. patients on 32-P or
chlorambucil had higher rates of AML, NHL, and carcinomas of the GI tract & skin; no differences inthe myelofibrosis rates between the three arms.
30% of all deaths were due to thrombosis;1/3 of all thrombotic events were fatal
A subsequent publication regarding this cohort was published in 1994 
- Chlorambucil – 22/42 died due to malignancies - P32 – 60 patients; @ 15 years 78% alive @ 20 years 55% alive (risk of MF 19% at 15 yrs, 53%
- Phlebotomy – 56 patients; only 37/56 still on phlebotomy alone at 3 yrs due to
intolerance/thrombosis/thrombocytosis; at 9 yrs only 7/56 on phlebotomy alone (6 of 7 have MF)
2. PVSG-05 RCT – phlebotomy + 900 mg/d ASA + persantine 225 mg/d vs. 32-P – addition of
antithrombotic agents failed to protect patients from thrombosis and increased the rate of life-
threatening hemorrhage (20% vs. 5% at 2 yrs) 
3. PVSG-08 Cohort Study  – 51 patients with PV treated with hydroxyurea; in 80% Hct was
controlled by 12 weeks and 88% control of thrombocytosis by 12 weeks, followed for 12 years
(range 9-15 yrs), average dose 500-1000 mg/d
PVSG-08 compared to PVSG-01 (phlebotomy arm) – patients in the PVSG-08 cohort had a higher
rate of previous thrombosis (35% vs. 14%); reduced thrombosis rate in HU group with 8 years of f/ufrom 38% to 13%; trend toward an increased AML/MDS rate in HU arm (5.9% vs.1.5%)
4. Interferon Studies (three published studies):
54 patients treated with IFN mIU/d until response then 2.5 mIU/d – at 4 yrs, 72% maintained
response even after drug stopped (median follow-up 39 weeks); 13 % had to stop due to adverseeffects 
38 patients with PV 9 mIU/wk – 30% CR; 25% flu like symptoms, 13% had to stop due to late
32 patients with PV – 12 mU/wk x 1 yr, 9 mU/wk x 1 yr, then 12 mU/wk thereafter – reduced
thrombosis (1.8%/yr vs. 3.6% before treatment); reduced frequency of phlebotomy (0.49/month to0.19/month) 
5. Patients age > 65  – study by the French PSG randomized patients to HU (10 mg/kg/d) or
no HU after clinical remission induced by P-32 in 461 patients
OAS – trend toward a reduction in those patients on HU (9.1 vs. 11.2 years) vs. 11.4 for age matched
No difference in thrombosis rate (25% at 10 years) Greater risk of MDS/AML after 10 years in the HU arm (21% vs. 14%) No reduction in myelofibrosis – 30% at 15 years
6. Patients age < 65  – n = 292 patients, randomized to HU (25 mg/kg then 10 mg/kg) vs.
pipobroman (1.2 mg/kg then 0.5 mg/kg)
No difference in thrombosis rate (15% at 10 yrs), AML rate 20% at 15 yrs, or survival Better hematologic control with pipobroman and less MF with pipobroman (40 vs. 17% at 15 years) Higher mortality than age matched controls Drug not available in Canada or USA
7. Anagrelide  – n = 113 patients with PV; 70% response rate (plt < 600); average dose 2.4
mg/d; time to response 20 days; adverse: headache 25%, palpitations 15%, diarrhea 25%, fluid
retention 15%, intolerance rate 13%; rate of bleeding/thrombocytopenia was 9/942 patients
Insufficient data on the impact of anagrelide on thrombosis rate in PV
TSRCC Hematology Site Group Treatment Policies
< 70 YRS
> 70 yrs
1. Hydroxyurea 15 mg/kg starting dose; increase by 5 mg/kg q6 wks as needed to maintain hematocrit <
2. Interferon 3 mU sc qMWF; commence at 1 mU sc qMWF and titrate up to 3 mU sc qMWF over 1
month; increase dose if required q8wks; maximum dose 5 mU/M2/d
3. Phlebotomy – start qwk until Hct < 0.45; then as needed4. Anagrelide 0.5 mg po qid; can titrate up to a maximum of 1.0 mg po qid; (Patients with renal and
hepatic dysfunction should be closely monitored during the start of therapy)
Patients should have good hematologic control of disease, if possible, for 6 weeks preop Bleeding time is not accurate in identifying patient at risk of perioperative bleeding  Preop ensure DIC work-up is negative (D-Dimers/Fibrinogen) – patients with evidence of DIC have a
higher incidence of perioperative bleeding. If possible surgery should be delayed until evidence ofDIC resolves. DIC may be responsive to hydroxyurea.
GISP Trial – Low dose ASA has been shown to be safe at 40 mg/d in safety trial of 112 patients
compared to placebo; no difference in thrombosis rate at 1 year follow-up 
Efficacy of low dose ASA un-proven – ongoing European ECLAP trial (dose 40 mg/d) High dose ASA – see PVSG-05 above, not useful
Venous thrombosis – warfarin for 3 months minimum, may consider stopping warfarin once Hct
controlled; consider hypercoagulable assessment
Arterial thrombosis or ischemic heart disease – ASA 40-80 mg/d; rule out other causes of stroke
(perform dopplers or echocardiogram as needed)
Management of the Spent Phase
– no manipulation of cellular products required (i.e. irradiation or CMV-negative
– therapeutic options include – IFN, Hydroxyurea; splenectomy may result in an
increased risk of AL transformation (Although not confirmed by all investigators); splenic irradiation(200-300 cGy in 10-15 daily fractions) usually results in only temporary benefit (3-6 months) and maypreclude future splenectomy due to scarring
(spinal cord, peritoneal or pleural cavities) – radiation
(Managed with phlebotomy and/or hydrea; estimates based on all the reported studies referred below)
10 yrs (%)
15 yrs (%)
AML with HU tx
Hydroxyurea – q2wkly blood counts x 8 weeks then q8 weeks Interferon –q2wkly blood counts x 8 weeks then q8 weeks Anagrelide – q2wks blood counts x 6 weeks then q8 weeks Phlebotomy alone – hematocrit q8 weeks
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TSRCC Hematology Site Group Treatment Policies
Pediatric Pulmonology 34:384–387 (2002)Pulmonary Alveolar Microlithiasis in Childhood:Stipan Jankovic, MD, PhD,1* Neven Pavlov, MD, PhD,2 Ante Ivkosic, MD,3 Ivana Erceg, MD,3Meri Glavina-Durdov, MD, PhD,4 Jadranka Tocilj, MD, PhD,5 Slavica Dragisic-Ivulic, MD,2Summary. This report describes a case of pulmonary alveolar microlithiasis that was diagnosed inan 8.5-year-old girl by high-resoluti
CURRICULUM VITAE Name Alexandre Valério de Mendonça Institutional address Laboratory of Neurosciences, Faculty of Medicine, 1649-028 Lisbon Telephone (351)217985183 Telefax (351)217999454 Email [email protected] Present position, institution, starting date Previous positions, institutions, dates Other scientific areas of interest Recent organization of scientific meeti