Ruben Mesa, MD, Discusses MPN Updates at ASH 2022 and the Evolution of the Disease

By Chadi Nabhan, MD, MBA, FACP - Last Updated: August 1, 2023

Ruben Mesa, MD, President and Executive Director of the Atrium Health cancer service line (formerly the Executive Director of Mays Cancer Center), discusses his long career in treating and studying myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), the evolution of the disease, and what abstracts caught his attention at the 2022 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and Exposition.

The knowledge surrounding MPNs has evolved greatly, Dr. Mesa said, noting there was one particular “watershed moment” that shaped the field.

“As I think about my career prior to 2005—when the JAK mutation was first discovered—we fully didn’t understand the biology of the disease,” he said. “We still don’t do a complete degree, but we know so much more now.”

Since then, he’s seen research and treatment for MPNs expand and move forward.

“As we think about that evolution even at ASH, when I started my career, the entire oral session for MPNs was a single session with eight abstracts from basic science through clinical trials,” Dr. Mesa said. “And now, I think there’s six to eight MPN sessions with hundreds of posters.”

With the myriad of abstracts on MPN at this year’s ASH Annual Meeting, Dr. Mesa highlighted several, including an abstract on MOMENTUM trial of momelotinib in myelofibrosis, as well as critical research in essential thrombocythemia and polycythemia vera.

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