Towards personalised therapy for von Willebrand disease: A future role for recombinant products

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24 Citations (Scopus)


von Willebrand disease (VWD) is reportedly the most common bleeding disorder and is caused by deficiencies and/or defects in the adhesive plasma protein von Willebrand factor (VWF). Functionally, normal VWF prevents bleeding by promoting both primary and secondary haemostasis. In respect to primary haemostasis, VWF binds to both platelets and sub-endothelial matrix components, especially collagen, to anchor platelets to damaged vascular tissue and promote thrombus formation. VWF also stabilises and protects factor VIII in the circulation, delivering FVIII to the site of injury, which then facilitates secondary haemostasis and fibrin formation/thrombus stabilisation. As a result of this, patients with VWD suffer a bleeding diathesis reflective of a primary defect caused by defective/deficient VWF, which in some patients is compounded by a reduction in FVIII. Management of VWD, therefore, chiefly entails replacement of VWF, and sometimes also FVIII, to protect against bleeding. The current report principally focuses on the future potential for "personalised" management of VWD, given the emerging options in recombinant therapies. Recombinant VWF has been developed and is undergoing clinical trials, and this promising therapy may soon change the way in which VWD is managed. In particular, we can envisage a personalised treatment approach using recombinant VWF, with or without recombinant FVIII, depending on the type of VWD, the extent of deficiencies, and the period and duration of treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-276
Number of pages15
JournalBlood Transfusion
Issue number3
Early online date22 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


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