Eltrombopag as a bridge to invasive procedures in patients with immune thrombocytopenia (ITP)
Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is a common blood disorder characterized by low platelet counts and an increased risk of bleeding. Many patients with ITP can be maintained with conventional therapies, but when an invasive procedure or surgery is planned, a short course of treatment is needed to rapidly increase platelet counts preoperatively so that dangerous bleeds can be prevented (termed ‘bridging’ therapy). Eltrombopag is a new, first-in-class oral thrombopoietin (TPO) receptor agonist developed by GlaxoSmithKline that has been shown to be effective as maintenance therapy for ITP in up to 80% of patients. Eltrombopag may also be effective for bridging therapy. We therefore designed a randomized prospective cohort study to evaluate the effectiveness and feasibility of eltrombopag as bridging therapy for ITP patients prior to surgery. This project has the potential to improve patient care and will benefit GlaxoSmithKline by generating valuable data and answering clinically relevant research questions that have not been previously addressed.