Pediatric Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Program

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For Patients

The Pediatric MPN program at Weill Cornell is housed in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology program and the Richard T. Silver Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Center.  We are dedicated to the improvement of care for children with myeloproliferative neoplasms and have active research and clinical programs.  

Some frequently asked questions:

1) What are myeloproliferative neoplasms?

Myeloproliferative neoplasms (or MPN) are disorders where parts of the bone marrow get overproduced, such as platelets (blood cells to stop bleeding), red blood cells (blood cells that carry oxygen in the body), or fibrous tissue in the bone marrow (like scar tissue.)  They can run in families but are usually sporadic, or isolated cases when they happen.  

2) What tests does my child need to be worked up for an MPN?

Various blood tests will need to be drawn, including some genetic tests.  An important part of the evaluation for children with MPN is a bone marrow evaluation, which allows your doctors to study the source where blood cells get produced.  This procedure is usually done with sedation and pain medication to make it easier for children.

3) What symptoms will my child experience with an MPN?

Symptoms in children with MPN vary - some children don't know anything is wrong and might get diagnosed after routine blood tests, while other children may present with a blod clot or severe bleeding.  

Patients report a variety of symptoms such as:

-headache

-leg pain

-itching

-abdominal pain 

-fatigue

-change in appetite

4) Will my child have to take medicine for his or her MPN?

Not all children with an MPN require treatment.  How the disease presents, the type of MPN, the level of blood counts, and your child's symptoms, all contribute to the decision whether or not treatment is needed.  Treatments can vary depending on the type of MPN, and may require medication or phlebotomy.

5) Are there other children with the same disease as my child?

Yes!  While MPN are very rare in children, you are not alone.  There are resources such as parent-run support groups on the internet, and connections are often made through the MPN Advocacy & Education International organization.  

Weill Cornell Medicine Pediatric Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Program 525 East 68th Street, Payson-695 New York, NY 10065 Phone: (212) 746-3400