Expert Guidance on Novel Approaches in the Management of Myelofibrosis


Ruben A. Mesa, MD, FACP
Executive Director, Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson
Ruben A. Mesa, MD, FACP

Dr. Mesa was the inaugural panel chair of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s (NCCN) guideline panel for the first USA guidelines for MPNS (myelofibrosis, polycythemia vera and essential thrombocythemia). He has been the principal investigator or co-principal investigator of more than 100 cancer clinical trials, including numerous global phase III trials. He has over 800 lifetime medical publications, with more than 400 peer-reviewed manuscripts, 15 book chapters, and two edited books. He is a frequently invited speaker on MPNs with over 600 such lectures and visiting professorships, nationally and internationally.

Dr. Mesa is a funded investigator of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) on several projects in myeloproliferative neoplasms and has been appointed to the NCI Clinical Trial Advisory Committee. He plays a range of leadership roles with the American Society of Hematology (ASH), the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR), and is currently elected to the Board of the American Association of Cancer Institutes (AACI), and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

In addition to Dr. Mesa’s extensive MPN research and clinical practice, he is passionate about advancing cancer health equity and increasing minority patients’ participation in cancer clinical trials. He helped implement a mandate that each new trial at the Mays Cancer Center has a Minority Accrual Plan that includes enrollment projections and a demographic-specific toolbox with strategies for clinical investigators to promote enrollment. Before its implementation, the enrollment of Hispanics into the cancer center’s interventional studies was 46 percent; now, it is 56 percent. He is involved in numerous national initiatives to increase clinical trial diversity, including being a member of the Genentech Health Disparities Task Force, Bristol Myers Squibb Health Disparities Task Force and the Janssen Health Disparities Task Force. In March 2022, he testified on the importance of clinical trial diversity before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Dr. Mesa also co-led the Mays Cancer Center’s biennial Advancing the Science of Cancer in Latinos Conference held in San Antonio.

Angela  G.  Fleischman, MD, PhD
Associate Professor
Division of Hematology/Oncology
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA
Angela  G.  Fleischman, MD, PhD

Dr. Angela Fleischman is a physician-scientist investigating hematologic malignancies. She integrates her research with the clinical care of patients with these diseases.

Her laboratory focuses on the role of inflammation in MPN. Her overarching research goal is to identify what drives disease initiation in MPN and to ultimately translate her scientific discoveries into therapeutic benefit for MPN patients.

Her research program spans the entire translational research spectrum. In the lab, she studies the fundamental pathobiology of MPN through mouse modeling and in vitro experimentation with primary patient samples. Her clinical work informs her research, and accordingly Dr. Fleischman’s research methods primarily involve patient samples for in vitro assays of stem and progenitor function.

Aaron Gerds, MD, MS
Associate Professor of Medicine, Hematology & Medical Oncology 
Deputy Director for Clinical Research, Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute
Medical Director, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Clinical Research Office
Principal Investigator, Case Lead Academic Participating Site
Cleveland, OH
Aaron Gerds, MD, MS

Aaron Gerds, MD, MS, completed his undergraduate degree, a BA in biology and chemistry, with honors at Hope College in Holland, Michigan and obtained his MD from Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. He continued his Internal Medicine residency at Loyola University Hospital where he served as chief resident. In Chicago, he became interested in hematology clinical trials which led him to pursue a master’s degree in clinical research methods and epidemiology. Dr. Gerds completed his hematology and oncology fellowship at the University of Washington, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, in Seattle and pursued a subspecialty in treating patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) such as polycythemia vera (PV), essential thrombocythemia (ET), myelofibrosis (MF), as well as other myeloid disorders. During his fellowship, he was awarded the ASBMT’s New Investigator Award.

Dr. Gerds is an Associate Professor of Medicine and the Deputy Director for Clinical Research at the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute where he serves as the principal investigator for several clinical trials for the treatment of MPNs and myeloid neoplasia with a focus on developing new treatments for these patients. He is also an active member of the American Society of Hematology, participating in both the Advocacy Leadership Institute and Clinical Research Training Institute, as well as serving as Chair of the Committee on Communications, as a member of the Test Materials Development Committee, former Editor of the ASH News Daily, and current Editor-in-Chief of ASH Clinical News. Dr. Gerds serves as the Medical Director for the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Clinical Research Office and is co-PI for the Center’s LAPS grant. He is also the institutional PI for the SWOG Cancer Research Network and is part of the leadership on several national clinical trials and is the chair of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Myeloproliferative Neoplasms and Systemic Mastocytosis Guidelines.

Statement of Need

Myelofibrosis (MF) is a rare bone marrow cancer characterized by severe anemia, weakness, fatigue, and other constitutional symptoms that can severely compromise quality of life (QoL). JAK/STAT pathway inhibition is the standard of care for patients with symptomatic MF. However, certain JAK inhibitors (JAKi) can exacerbate anemia and may be unsuitable for patients dependent on red blood cell (RBC) transfusions.

Other key signaling pathways are being explored to foster development of novel therapies that can overcome challenges associated with JAKis, but clinicians need guidance on these novel therapies in order to optimize clinical outcomes. This educational initiative will survey the expanding treatment options for patients with MF, including non-JAKi agents targeting non-canonical molecular pathways.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this CME/CE activity, participants should be able to:

  • Identify molecular and clinical features of MF that inform care plans.
  • Evaluate novel and investigational therapies for the management of MF.
  • Devise personalized strategies to integrate emerging evidence for MF.

Financial Support

This educational activity is supported by an educational grant from GSK.

Target Audience

Physicians, PAs, nurse practitioners, nurses, and pharmacists specializing in hematology or oncology.

Credit Information

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Physicians (ACCME) 1.0

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Nurses (ANCC) 1.0

This activity is designated for 1.0 contact hour.

Note for California Nurses

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Pharmacists/Pharmacy Tech (ACPE) 1.0

This application-based activity is approved for 1.0 contact hour (0.10 CEUs) of continuing pharmacy credit.
Activity UAN: JA0007185-0000-23-004-H01-P

PAs (AAPA) 1.0

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Successful completion of this CME activity, which includes participation in the evaluation component, enables the participant to earn up to 1.0 MOC point in the American Board of Internal Medicine's (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. Participants will earn MOC points equivalent to the amount of CME credits claimed for the activity. It is the CME activity provider's responsibility to submit participant completion information to ACCME for the purpose of granting ABIM MOC credit.

Royal College MOC

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MIPS Improvement Activity

This activity counts towards MIPS Improvement Activity requirements under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). Clinicians should submit their improvement activities by attestation via the CMS Quality Payment Program website.

Disclosure Declaration

It is the policy of CME Outfitters, LLC, to ensure independence, balance, objectivity, and scientific rigor and integrity in all of their CE activities. Faculty must disclose to the participants any relationships with commercial companies whose products or devices may be mentioned in faculty presentations, or with the commercial supporter of this CE activity. CME Outfitters, LLC, has evaluated, identified, and mitigated any potential conflicts of interest through a rigorous content validation procedure, use of evidence-based data/research, and a multidisciplinary peer review process.

Dr. Mesa reports the following financial relationships: Consultant: AbbVie Inc.; Blueprint Medicines Corporation; Bristol Myers Squibb; CTI Biopharma Corp.; Genentech, Inc.; Geron; GSK; Incyte; Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation; Sierra Oncology, Inc.; and Telios pharmaceuticals; Editorial Advisory Board: Clinical Advances in Hematology & Oncology; Grants: Mays Cancer Center P30 Cancer Center Support Grant from National Cancer Institute (CA054174); Research Support: AbbVie Inc.; Blueprint; Bristol Myers Squibb; CTI Biopharma Corp.; Genentech, Inc.; Incyte; MorphoSys; and Sierra Oncology, Inc.

Dr. Fleischman reports the following financial relationships: Advisory Board: Incyte; PharmaEssentia Corporation; and Sierra Pharma; Speakers Bureau: CTI Biopharma Corp. and PharmaEssentia Corporation

Dr. Gerds reports the following financial relationships: Advisory Board: AbbVie Inc.; CTI Biopharma Corp.; MorphoSys; PharmaEssentia Corporation; and Sierra Oncology, Inc./GSK

The following CME Outfitters peer reviewer and staff have no financial relationships:

  • Shirley Michelle Franks, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC (peer reviewer)
  • Thomas Mitchell (planning committee)
  • David Modrak, PhD (planning committee)
  • Susan H. Yarbrough, CHCP (planning committee)
  • Sandra Caballero, PharmD (planning committee)
  • Sharon Tordoff (planning committee)

Faculty of this CE activity may include discussions of products or devices that are not currently labeled for use by the FDA. The faculty have been informed of their responsibility to disclose to the audience if they will be discussing off-label or investigational uses (any uses not approved by the FDA) of products or devices.

Obtaining Credits

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Expert Guidance on Novel Approaches in the Management of Myelofibrosis
Event Date: 01/11/2023