Current Hematologic Malignancy Reports

, Volume 13, Issue 6, pp 581–587 | Cite as

Blastic Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cell Neoplasm (BPDCN) on Social Media: #BPDCN—Increasing Exposure over Two Years Since Inception of a Disease-Specific Twitter Community

  • Naveen Pemmaraju
  • Audun Utengen
  • Vikas Gupta
  • Michael A. Thompson
  • Andrew A. Lane
Social Media Impact of Hematologic Malignancies (N Pemmaraju, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Social Media Impact of Hematologic Malignancies


Purpose of Review

Engagement on social media for professional, healthcare-related communication is rapidly rising around the world. We aimed to better understand the dynamics of a rare disease Twitter hashtag community.

Recent Findings

Twitter has served as a platform for academic discussion, a method for knowledge dissemination directly from medical meetings, and a venue for patient caregiver and support groups. One example of a rare cancer that has seen an increase in available information via Twitter is blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm, or BPDCN. This field has recently experienced a new wave of interest from various healthcare stakeholders in light of key new scientific breakthroughs and novel clinical trials now starting to be available.


In order to bring all relevant healthcare stakeholders together, the investigators of this article created a disease-specific Twitter community: #BPDCN = “blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm on social media” which has led to higher levels of engagement and discussion in the field. This article focuses on our analysis of advanced Twitter user-metrics in the second year of #BPDCN and discusses future directions for this rare cancer online disease community.


Social media Twitter Blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm BPDCN Disease-specific hashtag Rare disease Rare cancer 



The authors thank Dr. Matthew Katz and the creators of the Cancer Ontology Tag (CTO) Program for their inspiration, and the founders and members of Symplur, and the Healthcare Hashtags Project for their continued analysis and support.

Funding Information

This research is supported in part by the MD Anderson Cancer Center Support Grant P30 CA016672.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Naveen Pemmaraju has received Honorarium/Consulting and/or Research/Grant & Clinical trial support from Novartis, LFB, Incyte, Stemline, Cellectis, Abbive, Affymetrix, Celgene, Samus, Plexxikon, Daiichi Sankyo, MustangBio, SagerStrong Foundation. Audun Utengen is a Co-founder of Symplur. Vikas Gupta received research grants from Novartis, Incyte, through his institution; served on scientific advisory board of Novartis and received honorarium from Novartis. Michael A. Thompson has been on Advisory Boards for: AIM Specialty Health. Andrew A. Lane has received funding from Stemline (research support and consulting), N-of-one (consulting).

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Naveen Pemmaraju
    • 1
  • Audun Utengen
    • 2
  • Vikas Gupta
    • 3
  • Michael A. Thompson
    • 4
  • Andrew A. Lane
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of LeukemiaThe University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Symplur LLCLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.The Elizabeth and Tony Comper MPN ProgramPrincess Margaret Cancer CenterTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Advocate Aurora HealthAurora Research InstituteMilwaukeeUSA
  5. 5.Dana-Farber Cancer InstituteBostonUSA

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