MMM is a chronic myeloproliferative disorder characterized by bone marrow fibrosis and neoangiogenesis, constitutive release of a high number of CD34+ stem cells from the bone marrow, and extramedullary hematopoiesis. It presents with heterogeneous clinical features in which anemia and progression to symptomatic splenomegaly dominate. The pathogenesis is undefined, but the dual action of deregulation of the bFGF pathway may influence myeloproliferation, myelofibrosis, and neoangiogenesis. Animal models suggest that chronic exposure to high doses of thrombopoietin or impairment of the capacity of megakaryocytes to differentiate into platelets, as occurs in the GATA-Ilow mice, is a necessary event for myelofibrosis. Allogeneic stem cell transplantation offers a chance of cure, and low conditioning regimens may extend the age of transplantable patients with lower mortality. Autologus stem cell transplantation and splenectomy are risky procedures that may be considered in patients with advanced disease when conventional therapies for correcting anemia (danazol, recombinant human erythropoietin, or cyclosporine) or chemotherapy for splenomegaly and myeloproliferation (hydroxyurea or interferon alfa) have failed. Thalidomide has been tested in numerous series, and its capacity to improve anemia and thrombocytopenia while reducing splenomegaly has been documented.
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