Learn more about our international medical advisor and Paediatric ITP specialist, Michele Lambert as she shares a little about why she’s so passionate about paediatric ITP.
We were introduced to Michele via the Platelet Disorder Support Association in 2019, where she came along to the first ITP Australia Patient Meeting held in Melbourne, Victoria. Michele’s passion for Paediatric ITP has spanned almost two decades and she has been instrumental in both patient outcomes and leading the way with research.
Just like many other international members of our advisory board, Michele is also a member of the PDSA Advisory Board and has been for many years.
Dr Michele P. Lambert, MD, MSTR
Based: Philadelphia, PA, Pennsylvania, United States of America
Field of Expertise: Paediatric Haematology
Bio: Michele P. Lambert, MD, MSTR, is medical director of the Special Coagulation Laboratory and an attending physician in the Division of Hematology at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Experience: 18 years
What made you decide on work with ITP as a focus?
I began with researching platelets and low platelet counts and ITP is one of the more frequent causes of low platelets in pediatric patients. However, there is so little that is understood about why some kids get ITP and others don’t and how best to manage these patients and how best to support families through the diagnosis. I feel like this not just an area where the clinical management is interesting, but also where there is much work still to be done and I have the opportunity to make a difference.
What is the most rewarding or challenging ITP related moment in your career?
My most rewarding moments are when I can meet with a family and address the anxiety that is such a big part of life in families with pediatric ITP – offering some real information and putting risks into perspective without minimizing the potential for harm.
My most challenging moment was a young man with refractory ITP associated with Evans syndrome due to an underlying immune dysregulation syndrome. His disease was so bad that we were not able to effectively manage his platelet count and haemoglobin and eventually referred him to a bone marrow transplant. Unfortunately, even the transplant was not able to control his disease and he succumbed to his disease after 6 years of treatments … at 14 years old.
How much has treating ITP changed since you first started working with patients?
When I started treating ITP, we only had IVIG and steroids and anti-D globulin for pediatric ITP. Now, we have TPO-RA which have many fewer side effects and are better tolerated than the original therapies. Now, we move to these medications much sooner for children with chronically low platelet counts in order to make sure there is not as much of an impact on HRQoL.
What would you wish to happen as the next development in ITP treatment?
Mechanism based therapy that would induce true remissions.
What is the one piece of advice you’d give to ITP patients and caregivers?
Keep your providers up to date on changes in bleeding pattern. This is the most important information you can give your provider to drive a change in management. If your bleeding gets worse or doesn’t improve with treatment, you need more treatment.
Outside of work, what do you do to relax and recharge?
I love to bake and sew and hang out by the pool.
Want to know who what other specialists we have on the ITP Medical Advisory Board? Check out the whole team here.