The Importance of Intervention in Chronic Phase Myelofibrosis

Srdan Verstovsek, MD, PhD, professor in the Department of Leukemia and director of the Hanns A. Pielenz Clinical Research Center for Myeloproliferative Neoplasms at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the importance of intervention in chronic phase myelofibrosis.<br /> &nbsp;

Srdan Verstovsek, MD, PhD, professor in the Department of Leukemia and director of the Hanns A. Pielenz Clinical Research Center for Myeloproliferative Neoplasms at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the importance of intervention in chronic phase myelofibrosis.

Although myelofibrosis is considered a chronic disease, it does not stay chronic forever, says Verstovsek. The average survival for patients with myelofibrosis is 5 to 7 years, but giving ruxolitinib (Jakafi) in the chronic phase for some patients can prolong life. Patients with myelofibrosis are at risk of their disease transforming to acute myeloid leukemia (AML), which has a worse prognosis and limited therapeutic options. Verstovsek says that patients must be monitored for disease transformation carefully, as AML does not develop overnight.