How can low platelet counts be raised? My grandmother has been struggling with low platelet counts for years. She was diagnosed with myleofibrosis. They have put her on a steroid and a few other medicines that worked well at first but now they are not hel

Low . Low platelet counts can be caused by reduced production or increased destruction or use. Myelofibrosis can certainly reduce platelet count, and is likely the main culprit. However, an enlarged spleen can certainly indicate increased breakdown. Removal of the spleen may help. If she is not a good surgical candidate, the spleen can instead be treated by embolization (blocking of the blood flow to the spleen using a small catheter). The latter is a procedure performed by an interventional radiologist. Check the doctor finder page at sirweb.Org to find an interventional radiologist near you.
I'm . I'm sorry your grandmother is ill. Unfortunately, myelofibrosis is a progressive disorder that eventually overwhelms any attempts at treatment. Median survival from the time myelofibrosis is diagnosed is around 5 years, but that prognosis is influenced to a great degree by the particular cell line(s) that is deficient. People with anemia (low red blood cell counts) and certain cytogenetic abnormalities tend to have shorter lifespans. Bleeding due to thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) is often a fatal and irreversible complication of myelofibrosis. Corticosteroids, transfusions, androgens (anabolic steroids), and irradiation and/or removal of the spleen are the mainstays of therapy, but -- as you've seen -- their effectiveness eventually wanes. One study done at the mayo clinic in rochester about 10 years ago showed that a certain subset of patients responded to combination thalidomide/corticosteroid therapy, and interferon was getting some attention about that same time. However, i don't believe these modalities, as well as newer "biologics" such as ruxolitinib, have proven themselves worthwhile for treating myelofibrosis and thrombocytopenia. Indeed, some newer agents have shown a disconcerting tendency to cause thrombocytopenia. My best to you and your grandmother.