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Novel Therapeutic Approaches May Transform Treatment and Improve Patient Outcomes in Several Platelet Disorders
Date:12/6/2008

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Four studies that highlight significant advances in treatment and survival outcomes for patients with various forms of thrombocytopenia, a group of bleeding disorders characterized by a low number of platelets in the blood, will be presented in a press conference on Saturday, December 6, at 8:00 a.m., during the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology in San Francisco, CA. The studies featured in the press conference will report on a new combination therapy for previously untreated idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), an investigational oral treatment for chronic ITP, a low-dose platelet transfusion strategy for patients with hypoproliferative thrombocytopenia, and a new therapeutic platelet transfusion approach following high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation.

"We have some very exciting data on novel therapeutic approaches to minimize bleeding episodes in patients with platelet disorders," said press conference moderator Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, 2008 President of the American Society of Hematology and Helen M. Ranney Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. "The results of these studies will likely transform the way hematologists treat and manage these conditions, ultimately resulting in improvements in overall patient outcomes such as reducing bruising and unnecessary bleeding that can result if left untreated."

Types of thrombocytopenia, a blood disorder with 50 to 150 new cases per 1 million people each year, are typically classified by one of three causes: low production of platelets in the bone marrow, increased breakdown of platelets in the bloodstream, or increased breakdown of platelets in the spleen or liver, which can be induced by certain anemias, cancers, infections, or medications. Symptoms can include bruising, nose bleeds, bleed
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SOURCE American Society of Hematology
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