Use of pegylated interferon in young patients with polycythemia vera and essential thrombocythemia

Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2021 Mar;68(3):e28888. doi: 10.1002/pbc.28888. Epub 2020 Dec 31.


Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) are rare disorders in young patients, and because of this, standardized treatment recommendations are not available. Pediatric patients are more frequently treated with hydroxyurea than interferon, yet there are no data suggesting this is the best practice. Current treatment guidelines for adults suggest using interferon as upfront therapy in young patients. We reviewed the cases of 13 young patients with polycythemia vera or essential thrombocythemia, who were treated with interferon. Extreme thrombocytosis was well controlled and the medication was tolerated by many. Our work shows the need for prospective studies evaluating interferon in our youngest patients with MPN.

Keywords: essential thrombocytosis; interferon; myeloproliferative neoplasm; polycythemia vera.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Interferon alpha-2 / therapeutic use*
  • Interferon-alpha / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Polycythemia Vera / drug therapy*
  • Polycythemia Vera / pathology
  • Polyethylene Glycols / therapeutic use*
  • Prognosis
  • Recombinant Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Thrombocythemia, Essential / drug therapy*
  • Thrombocythemia, Essential / pathology
  • Young Adult


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Interferon alpha-2
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • peginterferon alfa-2b
  • peginterferon alfa-2a