What is MF?

What is Fibrosis?
Fibrosis is the formation of excessive fibrous connective tissue in place of healthy tissue. The disease myelofibrosis - or MF - (one of the myeloproliferative neoplasms) is characterized by fibrosis in the bone marrow. This reduces the bone marrow's ability to produce blood cells. Prognosis for sufferers of myelofibrosis varies. The prognosis of myelofibrosis is different for every patient. People in a good prognostic group can live for many years without having major symptoms; those with a poor prognosis may progress more quickly. A small proportion of MF patients can transform to acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a type of blood and bone marrow cancer that progresses rapidly.

Normal cells: Cells affected with myelofibrosis:

 

Why Now?
The emergence of new treatments for MF patients is encouraging, but until there is proof that these emerging treatments actually change the course of the disease, these fears will remain. MF will kill many of our patients, and bone marrow fibrosis will be its weapon. MPN Research Foundation jointly with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society seek to change this future, and we believe a focus on MF and fibrosis can change the trajectory of this disease. With the MF Challenge we are seeking the help of independent researchers who can join us in an attempt to achieve that goal.

Fibrosis and MPNs
Myelofibrosis is classified as a myeloproliferative neoplasm or MPN (a cancer of the blood forming tissues associated with proliferation of an abnormal bone marrow stem cell) and can arise on its own (primary myelofibrosis), or as a progression of other bone marrow disorders. Other myeloproliferative neoplasms that can progress to myelofibrosis include polycythemia vera and essential thrombocythemia, resulting in post-polycythemia vera MF and post-essential thrombocythemia MF respectively.

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