In this podcast, Tiziano Barbui starts by giving some background to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe. Prof. Barbui has focused on how to help his patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) during the outbreak. As a member of the European LeukemiaNet Working party on MPN, Prof. Barbui launched a study in 38 European centers, collecting 180 patients with both MPN and COVID-19. Laura Michaelis asks, are patients with MPN more susceptible to COVID-19 infection? Prof. Barbui discusses this question with reference the prevalence of people infected with COVID-19, who are asymptomatic but show serum-positivity.
Then, Prof. Michaelis asks what the fatality rate was in patients with MPN who also contracted COVID-19. Tiziano Barbui speaks about the results that he found in his hospital and in the study he commissioned. Laura Michaelis highlights that the stage of the epidemic also impacts on case fatality. They go on to comment on the type of comorbidities present in patients with MPN and how this effects their risk of severe disease with COVID-19. This leads to a discussion of the important variables identified during analysis of the data from Prof. Barbui's study. Prof. Michaelis in particular asks about how ruxolitinib modifies the risk for patients with MPN. Tiziano Barbui answers this, paying particular attention to the inflammatory environment in patients with COVID-19.