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Available from: Arturo Pereira, Apr 08, 2014
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    British Journal of Haematology 08/2013; 162(3). DOI:10.1111/bjh.12376 · 4.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Myelofibrosis (MF) is a clonal stem cell disorder characterized by cytopenias, splenomegaly, marrow fibrosis, and systemic symptoms due to elevated inflammatory cytokines. MF is associated with decreased survival. The quality of life of patients with MF is similar to other advanced malignancies. Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation is a curative treatment, but is applicable to a minority of patients with MF. None of the conventional therapies are known to alter the natural history of the disease. Significant progress has been made in the last few years in the understanding of disease biology of MF. Discovery of the JAK2V617F mutation paved the way for drug discovery in MF, and the first JAK1/2 inhibitor, ruxolitinib, has been approved by FDA and Health Canada. Several other JAK1/2 inhibitors are at various stages of clinical development. As a consequence, the therapeutic landscape of MF is changing from a disease where no effective therapies existed to one with several novel treatment options on the horizon. In this report, we assess the changing therapeutic options for MF, and critically analyze the position of novel treatments in the current armamentarium.
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    ABSTRACT: On November 16, 2011, the Food and Drug Administration approved ruxolitinib (a JAK1 and JAK2 inhibitor) for use in the treatment of high and intermediate risk myelofibrosis. This is welcome news for those patients in whom such therapy is indicated and treatment benefit outweighs attendant risk. The question is who are these patients, what should they expect in terms of both short-term effects and long-term impact, and why would they choose ruxolitinib over other JAK inhibitors that are freely available for use in a research setting. Ruxolitinib and most other JAK inhibitors exert a salutary effect on constitutional symptoms and splenomegaly but have yet to produce histopathologic or cytogenetic remissions, reverse bone marrow fibrosis, or improve survival over best supportive care. Furthermore, the palliative value of JAK inhibitors is diminished by notable side effects, including anemia, thrombocytopenia, gastrointestinal disturbances, metabolic abnormalities, peripheral neuropathy, and hyperacute relapse of symptoms during treatment discontinuation. Therefore, risk-benefit balance favors use of currently available JAK inhibitors in only a select group of patients with myelofibrosis, and their potential value in polycythemia vera, outside of special circumstances (eg, intractable pruritus), is undermined by the absence of evidence for a disease-modifying effect and presence of arguably superior alternatives.
    Blood 01/2012; 119(12):2721-30. DOI:10.1182/blood-2011-11-395228 · 10.43 Impact Factor