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Blood. 2014 Mar 20;123(12):1818-25. doi: 10.1182/blood-2013-10-534743. Epub 2013 Dec 17.

Eltrombopag restores trilineage hematopoiesis in refractory severe aplastic anemia that can be sustained on discontinuation of drug.

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  • 1Hematology Branch, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD;


About a quarter of patients with severe aplastic anemia remain pancytopenic despite immunosuppressive therapy. We have previously demonstrated that eltrombopag has efficacy in this setting with 44% (11/25) of patients having clinically significant hematologic responses. We now report safety and efficacy data on a further 18 patients and long-term follow-up on the entire cohort of 43 patients. The overall response rate was 17 of 43 patients (40%) at 3 to 4 months, including tri- and bilineage responses. The majority of patients who remained on eltrombopag in an extension study (14/17) continued to show improvement, and 7 eventually had significant increases in neutrophil, red cell, and platelet lineages. Five patients with robust near-normalization of blood counts had drug discontinued at a median of 28.5 months after entry (range, 9-37 months), and all maintained stable counts a median of 13 months (range, 1-15 months) off eltrombopag. Eight patients, including 6 nonresponders and 2 responders, developed new cytogenetic abnormalities on eltrombopag, including 5 with chromosome 7 loss or partial deletion. None evolved to acute myeloid leukemia to date. Eltrombopag is efficacious in a subset of patients with aplastic anemia refractory to immunosuppressive therapy, with frequent multilineage responses and maintenance of normalized hematopoiesis off treatment. This study is registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00922883.

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