Improving Patient Outcomes With Ruxolitinib in Advanced Myelofibrosis

Srdan Verstovsek, MD, PhD, discusses how research and future clinical trials can better determine the benefit of ruxolitinib as treatment of patients with myelofibrosis, which is often measured in improvements in the quality of life and spleen reductions.

Srdan Verstovsek, MD, PhD, medical oncologist, and professor, Department of Leukemia, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses how research and future clinical trials can better determine the benefit of ruxolitinib as treatment of patients with myelofibrosis, which is often measured in improvements in the quality of life (QOL) and spleen reductions.

Ruxolitinib (Jakafi) has demonstrated improvements in QOL and spleen reduction in prior clinical trials, but longer follow-up have demonstrated that the QOL end point may not be necessary in evaluating how treatment has induced prolongation of life. This is questionable as the data came from a post-hoc analysis, says Verstovsek, but a correlation has been observed in the degree of spleen reduction and prolongation of life.

These data will be important for moving the field forward and understanding improvements in outcomes, says Verstovsek. Overall, physicians should focus on controlling spleen size as much as they can safely within the first 6 months of therapy.