The objective of this study was to investigate the use of thrombopoietin-receptor agonists (TPO-ra) in patients with refractory primary immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) as well as off-label use of TPO-ra in Danish haematology departments. Hospital medical records from 32 of the 39 patients having received TPO-ra from 2009 to 1 May 2011 were available for data collection and included in the study. Of these patients, 15 received TPO-ra for refractory primary ITP, 7 for secondary ITP (chronic lymphatic leukaemia, systemic lupus erythematosus, Evans syndrome, human immunodeficiency virus and celiac disease) and 10 were treated for non-ITP (chemotherapy-induced, acute myeloid leukaemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, hereditary spherocytosis and suspected chemically induced thrombocytopenia). Initial response to TPO-ra defined as platelet counts >30×10/l after 4 weeks of treatment was found in 59 of primary ITP patients, 57 of patients with secondary ITP and 40 of patients with non-ITP. There were four deaths in the cohort, three of which were related to pre-existing medical conditions. Otherwise adverse effects were in general mild. This Danish retrospective registration study has demonstrated that in the off-protocol setting, the use of TPO-ra is associated with response rates largely similar to those seen in previous protocol-monitored studies and no new adverse events were reported.
Platelets (london), 2012, Vol 23, Issue 6, p. 423-429