New advances in the treatment of adult chronic immune thrombocytopenic purpura: role of thrombopoietin receptor-stimulating agents.
Decades of basic science and clinical research have led to an increased understanding of the pathophysiology of immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), the processes underlying thrombopoiesis, and the treatment of chronic ITP. Now, new agents are available to treat ITP in a nonimmunosuppressive fashion. Lessons learned from the clinical trials of recombinant human thrombopoietin (TPO) have led to the development of a novel class of compounds: nonimmunogenic agonists of the thrombopoietin receptor. Representing the first nonimmunosuppressive agents to treat chronic refractory ITP in decades, medications such as romiplostim and eltrombopag were recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. These new agents offer physicians a new tool for treating difficult cases of ITP in their medical armamentarium. Additional TPO mimetics are also being developed that show promise in vitro, and await future development.
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