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GSK and Queer Eye's Thom Filicia Partner on Blood Cancer Awareness Initiative
• GSK launches Mapping Myelofibrosis to help chart course for those affected by the disease.
• Myelofibrosis is a complex blood cancer that impacts nearly 25,000 people in the U.S.
Issued: Philadelphia, PA
GSK plc (LSE/NYSE: GSK) has partnered with former Queer Eye star and interior designer Thom Filicia to launch Mapping Myelofibrosis, a new health education initiative aiming to help those impacted by myelofibrosis (MF) better navigate the disease. This year marks the 10-year anniversary of Filicia donating bone marrow to his brother, who was diagnosed with MF a few months prior to the transplant. Filicia now looks to use his voice to help raise awareness of this blood cancer, which can be difficult to diagnose and manage.1
MF impacts nearly 25,000 people in the U.S. and is part of a larger group of blood cancers that affect the bone marrow, called myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs).2,3 Each person experiences MF differently, presenting significant challenges in identifying symptoms and mapping out treatment paths.1
“After my brother’s diagnosis, we didn't understand the magnitude of what he was up against,” said Filicia. "The reality of MF presents unique challenges for each individual, and as my brother overcame this disease, I realized the need to ensure more accessible information and resources. This experience led me to team up with GSK on Mapping Myelofibrosis to continue raising awareness of this complex blood cancer.”
Mapping Myelofibrosis includes the launch of a website featuring educational resources about MF, community stories, and messages from Filicia. In developing the initiative, GSK sought input from the MF community through collaborations with organizations including the MPN Research Foundation (MPNRF) and MPN Advocacy & Education International (MPN A&E).
Faris El Refaie, Head of Oncology, US of GSK said: “At GSK, we are committed to advancing the standard of care in oncology and supporting communities impacted by hematologic cancers. Recognizing an unmet need in myelofibrosis, we developed Mapping Myelofibrosis to cultivate awareness and provide a platform to foster support and education.”
Kapila Viges, CEO of MPN Research Foundation said: “This initiative by GSK represents a meaningful step forward in ensuring those living with MF and their families have access to tailored resources to help guide them through the complexities of this disease. Hearing Filicia tell his story reinforces the importance of enhancing our understanding of MF, and all MPNs.”
Ann Brazeau, CEO and Founder of MPN A&E said: “Ensuring that patients with MF and their loved ones feel seen and heard while navigating a rare disease is so important. Educational resources like GSK’s Mapping Myelofibrosis initiative are critical for patients and their families when it comes to making informed decisions around their care.”
In early stages, approximately one third of individuals with MF will not exhibit symptoms.1 However, key signs and symptoms of the disease may include, but are not limited to low blood counts (anemia), low platelet counts (thrombocytopenia) or enlarged spleen (splenomegaly).1 For those who have not been diagnosed, early detection of the disease may be beneficial. For those who have been diagnosed, understanding your symptoms is key to making informed decisions regarding treatment and care with your healthcare providers.1
Explore MappingMF.com to find resources and learn more.
About Mapping Myelofibrosis
GSK created Mapping Myelofibrosis to increase awareness of myelofibrosis, seeking to connect the community with educational tools, resources and stories to help navigate all aspects of the disease.
About myelofibrosis (MF)
Myelofibrosis is a complex blood cancer affecting approximately 25,000 people in the U.S.2 MF is part of a larger group of blood cancers that affect the blood and bone marrow, known as myeloproliferative neoplasms, or MPNs.3 In people with MF, blood cells may not be produced in a typical way, causing inflammation and scarring of the bone marrow, which is called fibrosis.3 The signs and symptoms of MF may include severe low blood counts or anemia, enlarged spleen (splenomegaly), low blood platelets (thrombocytopenia), and other symptoms.1
GSK in oncology
GSK is focused on maximizing patient survival through transformational medicines. GSK’s pipeline is focused on immuno-oncology, tumor cell targeting therapies and synthetic lethality. Our goal is to achieve a sustainable flow of new treatments based on a diversified portfolio of investigational medicines utilizing modalities such as small molecules, antibodies and antibody-drug conjugates, either alone or in combination.
GSK is a global biopharma company with a purpose to unite science, technology, and talent to get ahead of disease together. Find out more at gsk.com.
1. Cleveland Clinic. Myelofibrosis. Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15672-myelofibrosis. Accessed October 2023
2. Data on file. Sierra Oncology. 2021.
3. MPN Research Foundation. Primary Myelofibrosis (PMF). Available at: http://www.mpnresearchfoundation.org/primary-myelofibrosis-pmf/.Accessed October 2023.