Journal Logo



Janssens, A.1; Beguin, Y.2; Lambert, C.3; Breems, D.4; Deeren, D.5; Efira, A.6; Fostier, K.7; Janssen, M.8; Kentos, A.9; Maertens, V.10; Mineur, P.11; Schauvliege, L.12; Schuermans, C.13; Theunissen, K.14; Vaes, M.15; Van de Velde, A.16; Van Eygen, K.17; Vantilborgh, A.18; Selleslag, D.19

doi: 10.1097/01.HS9.0000561060.14905.34
Poster Session I: Platelets disorders

1hematology, UZ Leuven, Leuven

2hematology, CHU de Liège, Luik

3hematology, Cliniques Universitaires, Brussels

4hematology, ZNA, Antwerp

5hematology, AZ Delta, Roeselare

6hematology, CHU Brugmann, Brussels

7hematology, UZ Brussel, Brussel

8hematology, ZOL, Genk

9hematology, Centres Hospitaliers Jolimont, Haine Saint Paul

10hematology, Imelda Ziekenhuis, Bonheiden

11hematology, GHDC, Charleroi

12hematology, Sint-Jozefskliniek, Izegem

13hematology, GZA campus Augustinus, Antwerp

14hematology, Jessa Ziekenhuis, Hasselt

15hematology, CHU Tivoli, La Louvière

16hematology, UZA, Antwerp

17hematology, AZ Groeninge, Kortrijk

18hematology, UZ Gent, Gent

19hematology, AZ Sint-Jan, Brugge, Belgium

Back to Top | Article Outline


Since 2009 treatment of chronic ITP patients with thrombopoietin receptor agonists (TPO-RA) (romiplostim-eltrombopag) has been reimbursed in Belgium. Despite the initial assumption that this would be a life-long therapy, practical experience has shown that a significant number of patients do stop treatment. Reasons of TPO-RA discontinuation can be no efficacy, adverse events, ITP or non-ITP related death or spontaneous remission. Spontaneous remission (SR) or treatment free-remission (TFR) is defined as a treatment-free period of 3 6 months (mo) with platelets 3 50000/ml and no need of ITP rescue medication.

Back to Top | Article Outline


We performed a survey to know how many patients were treated with TPO-RA (trial, reimbursed, medical need) and how many of these had stopped this treatment. More details were gathered of patients who discontinued treatment.

Back to Top | Article Outline


The survey was sent by mail to all hematologists who were member of the Belgian Hematological Society.

Back to Top | Article Outline


20 Belgian centers participated in our survey and sent data. 42 patients fulfilled the definition of TFR, while 3 of these patients had several episodes of TFR. The baseline characteristics of the patients obtaining TFR were as follows: 26 patients were male and 16 were female; diagnosis of primary ITP was made in 34 patients; the 8 patients with secondary ITP had an underlying lymphoma (n = 5), an Evans syndrome (n = 2) or a previous transplant (n = 1); mean age at ITP diagnosis was 50.5 years (y) (range 1-87y); median platelet count at ITP diagnosis was 5000/ml; median time between ITP diagnosis and the start of TPO-RA was 5 y (range 1 mo-24y); at start of TPO-RA 5 patients fulfilled the definition of acute, 8 of persistent and 28 of chronic ITP; 54% (22/41) were splenectomized; 55% (22/40) needed 3 3 ITP treatments before the start of the TPO-RA (corticosteroids, intravenous immunoglobulins, rituximab, cyclophosphamide, cyclosporin, fansidar…); median platelet count at start of TPO-RA was 11000/ml; median time on TPO-RA was 8 mo (range 0-74 mo); median platelet count was 267000/ml at discontinuation of TPO-RA and 177000/ml 6 mo later. 178 patients (provided by 15 centers) were treated with TPO-RA. Of these 100 patients discontinued treatment. 21% of the total cohort discontinued TPO-RA because of TFR and 37% of the discontinuations was due to TFR.

Back to Top | Article Outline


Our survey confirmed that SR or TFR on TPO-RA is seen in about 20% of ITP patients treated in daily clinical practice in Belgium. TFR is seen not only in acute or persistent ITP but also in chronic ITP. TFR is seen in patients independent of splenectomy and independent of the number of treatments given before. In the future the incidence of TFR is thought to be even higher when the use of a forced tapering schedule will become common practice.

Copyright © 2019 The Authors. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health Inc., on behalf of the European Hematology Association.