Is there a role for low-dose eltrombopag as maintenance therapy in the treatment of immune thrombocytopenia?
Vlachaki E., Sousos N., Perifanis V., Kaiafa G., Onoufriadis I., Hatzitolios A., Boura P.
BACKGROUND/AIM: Thrombopoietin receptor agonists (romiplostim and eltrombopag) have recently been licensed for the treatment of thrombocytopenia in patients with chronic immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) with an insufficient response to corticosteroids, immunoglobulins or splenectomy. In the present case series, we present 4 nonresponding patients with chronic ITP who achieved maintenance of complete response (CR) for a period of at least 6 months on eltrombopag treatment administered in a modified regimen of 25 mg for 2, 3 or 5 days a week. METHODS: The present study is a retrospective, nonconsecutive case series of 4 eltrombopag-treated patients with chronic ITP. Secondary ITP had been excluded in each patient, first-line therapy had failed and splenectomy had been refused. Furthermore, each patient was treated with eltrombopag, which resulted in a CR for a mean of 2 months. Consequently, decreased eltrombopag dosages have been able to maintain long-term CR. RESULTS/CONCLUSION: Despite the low quality of evidence, our study results support the use of reduced-dose eltrombopag as a maintenance therapy after achieving CR. It seems a very promising strategy for the effective maintenance of response, improving health-related quality of life, lowering costs and possibly improving the safety in the treatment of ITP.