Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) are types of blood cancer that are caused when the bone marrow produces either too many or not enough blood cells. Although they are officially classed as blood cancers, many people feel well and their disease is stable or progresses very slowly.

About myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN)

There are many different types of MPN but the classical MPNs fall into three main categories:

  • Polycythaemia vera (PV) – too many red blood cells
  • Essential thrombocythaemia (ET) – too many platelets
  • Myelofibrosis (MF) – too many fibroblasts, which cause scar tissue and fibrous tissue in the bone marrow and stop it from producing enough blood cells

There are also several atypical or non-classical MPNs.

MPNs are caused by gene changes (mutations) in stem cells. We don’t know why these mutations happen in some people. Research is taking place to find out why and to look at which gene mutations are most common in different MPNs.


Symptoms vary depending on the type of MPN. Many people have no symptoms at all. People who do have symptoms might get:

  • Frequent headaches
  • Tiredness that does not go away (fatigue)
  • Bruising or unusual bleeding
  • Blurred vision or other eye problems
  • Tinnitus (ringing in your ears)
  • Frequent infections

Diagnosis and treatment at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre

We diagnose and treat all types of MPN. Dr Nauman Butt, our lead MPN clinician, is one of the very small number of UK specialists with a particular interest in atypical MPNs such as systemic mastocytosis and hypereosinophilic syndromes.

We accept referrals for diagnosis as well as treatment and can make laboratory diagnosis from tissue samples which include blood and bone marrow. 

We treat:

Treatments are all offered in line with NICE guidelines. We also have an active clinical trials portfolio for MPN. 

We have our own on-site stem cell transplant unit for patients with complex disease.

Having treatment

The cancer treatments we offer for MPN include:

  • Venesection (removing some blood)
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted treatments 
  • Stem cell transplants 
  • Clinical trials 
  • Treatment for symptom control

Research and trials of new cancer treatments are an important part of our work. Your consultant will tell you about any clinical trials that may be suitable for you.

You are also very welcome to ask us about clinical trials during your appointments. We will be happy to answer any questions you have. 

Our care is mostly provided at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool and on the Aintree University Hospital site. We also do outreach to the Isle of Man. 

This includes:

  • Outpatient clinics in Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool (CCC-Liverpool) and Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Aintree (CCC-Aintree)
  • Outpatient chemotherapy in CCC-Liverpool and the Marina Dalglish Centre at Aintree University Hospital 
  • Inpatient care on Ward 4 and Ward 5 of CCC-Liverpool 
  • Blood cancer services to all acute hospitals in Liverpool 
  • Regional support to haematology teams in Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales
  • Outreach services to the Isle of Man
  • Clinical trials are delivered at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool 

Our team

Our team is made up of the following members:

  • Consultants 
  • Advanced nurse practitioner
  • Clinical nurse specialist 
  • Research nurse
  • Clinical scientist
  • Pharmacist
  • Counsellor
  • Clinical trials data coordinators 

Our operational management team and administrative support makes sure the service runs smoothly.

These are the people you are most likely to meet when you come for your clinic appointment or on the inpatient ward.

Our consultants are experts in diagnosing and treating MPN. They will discuss your diagnosis and treatment options (if you need treatment) at all stages.

Many people will be eligible to take part in a research study or clinical trial. Your consultant will tell you if this is an option for you. Please tell us if you are interested in clinical trials. 


Dr Nauman Butt – MPN lead
Dr Rachel Wells 
Dr Tom Seddon 
Dr Shahid Iqbal (Locum)

Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS)

They are there to help and support you as well as coordinate your care in hospital and at home. Your CNS can help you to understand your cancer diagnosis and treatment options and support you through your cancer experience. 

They can help with any problems or questions that you or your family might have. They might also see you in clinic for follow-up appointments. 

Our clinical nurse specialists are:

Lauren Mercer
Katy Knight
Julie Curran

Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) 

An advanced nurse practitioner (ANP) is a senior specialist nurse. Our ANP is:

Carolyn Parry

Clinical Scientist

Dr Lihui Wang

Senior Pharmacist

Aileen McCaughey

Research Nurse

Lauren Quilty

Patient Counsellor and Clinical Psychologists

Linda Boyne is the counsellor for patients with blood cancer. 

There is a team of clinical psychologists who can offer more advanced psychological support. One of the team will suggest this to you if they feel it is in your best interests. You might then be referred to the psychology specialist team.

Clinical Trials Data Coordinators

Laura Connolly
Tracey Wellman

Further information

Our Cancer Information and Support Centres can provide individualised help and support for patients and families affected by cancer. The team’s main base is in Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool but they also work at our Aintree and Wirral hospitals.

There are also local Macmillan services in other hospitals across our region.

External sites that offer extra support and information about different types of MPN cancer include:

Cancer Research UK

Macmillan Cancer Support 

Bloodcancer UK 

Leukaemia Care