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Eltrombopag-based combination treatment for immune thrombocytopenia

David Gómez-Almaguer
Therapeutic Advances in Hematology 2018, 9 (10): 309-317
30344993
Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is a bleeding disorder caused by a decrease in platelet count resulting from increased destruction and insufficient production of platelets. Although impaired regulatory T-lymphocyte activity plays a critical role in platelet destruction, many other immunologic abnormalities are also likely to be involved. Importantly, patients with ITP appear to have defects in a thrombopoietin-mediated physiological mechanism that compensates for a decrease in platelet count by increasing platelet production. Thus, simultaneous treatment of multiple pathogenic pathways involved in ITP could potentially result in synergistic efficacy. While conventional treatments for ITP suppress or modulate the immune system to reduce platelet destruction, a unique class of ITP therapy, namely thrombopoietin receptor agonists (TPO-RAs), improves platelet production by activating the thrombopoietin pathway. As hypothesized, preliminary studies show that combinations of eltrombopag, an oral TPO-RA, with conventional treatments improve outcomes in both newly diagnosed and refractory patients. In this review, the clinical experience with eltrombopag-based combinations in patients with ITP is summarized and the implications of the available data are discussed.

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