Abstract 4095


Symptomatic burden in myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) is present in over 70% of MPN patients (Mesa et. al. Cancer 2007). We sought to validate a broadly applicable instrument (MPN-SAF) to assess symptoms in myelofibrosis (MF), essential thrombocythemia (ET) and polycythemia vera (PV).


Using the previously validated MF-SAF as a base instrument, we added several key additional symptoms previously identified as present in all subtypes of MPNs including headaches, concentration, dizziness, extremity tingling, insomnia, sexual problems and mood changes on a 0 (absent) to 10 (worst-imaginable) scale.


The MPN-SAF was administered jointly with the EORTC-QLQ-C30 as the co-validation instrument using prospective cohorts in the USA, Sweden and Italy. The translated MPN-SAF (Swedish and Italian) was created through a standard approach using teams of 4 translators working in concert.


Compiled MPN-SAF:Patient data: 402 MPN-SAF surveys were administered (English (25%), Italian (46%) and Swedish (28%)) in 161 ET patients (40%), 145 PV patients (36%), and 96 MF patients (24%), an average of 7.8 years (range 0 – 43 years) from their MPN diagnosis. Participants were of typical age (64.9, range 26 – 91 years) and gender (53% female) characteristic of disease. Prior hemorrhage (10%) and thrombosis (25%) were frequent. 68% of patients currently received cytoreductive therapy and 84% received cytoreductive therapy in the past.

Patients and Symptomatic Burden:

19 items assessed in the MPN-SAF demonstrated consistently that the most common symptoms were fatigue (93%), decreased quality of life (84%), insomnia (65%), sad mood (65%), and sexuality problems (58%). The least common symptoms (<50% prevalence) were fevers (20%), weight loss (35%), abdominal pain (46%), cough (46%), headache (48%), and bone pain (49%). Symptoms were most severe in MF, followed by PV, then ET patients. Although symptoms are present in all 3 MPN subgroups, itching is notably more burdensome in PV patients (65%, median score of 2.8 out of 10). Additionally, abdominal pain, abdominal discomfort, early satiety and inactivity all are most prevalent and severe in MF. Interestingly, night sweats (present in 56%) overall had similar prevalence and severity across all 3 MPNs. The majority found the MPN-SAF easy to understand (98%) and “addressed most of my MPN symptoms” (96%).

Comparison to EORTC-QLQ-C30:

Strong correlations existed between individual items represented on both the MPN-SAF and the EORTC-QLQC30 including pain, fatigue, appetite and insomnia (all p<0.001). Additionally key symptomatic elements were highly correlated with the EORTC QLQ-C30 functional subscales.

Comparison to Physician Perceptions:

Comparison of the results of the MPN-SAF to enrolling physicians' blinded opinion of patients symptoms (6 assessed - night sweats, fevers, fatigue, weight loss, bone pain, and pruritus) showed excellent correlation with corresponding patients' responses except bone pain (all p<0.001).

Comparison across Countries:

When controlling for MPN subtype, responses between the three different countries (and 3 different languages the MPN-SAF was administered) demonstrated great consistency and correlation for all but 1 item, bone pain.

Serial MPN-SAF Results:

51 patients in the USA (ET (17.6%), PV (25.5%), and MF (56.9%)), responded to a repeat MPN-SAF survey sent via US mail (50% response rate, mean time between surveys 190±63 days (range 43 – 257)). Pearson correlations indicate that most MPN-SAF items are well correlated (r >0.5, p<.001) upon repeat survey administration. Items characteristic of advanced disease, including weight loss, fever, and cough displayed lower Pearson correlations (r=0.46, -0.08, and 0.38 respectively). Intra-class correlations for test-retest reliability indicated that common features of disease, including mean BFI, inactivity, insomnia, and night sweats, were highly reproducible upon serial survey administration (ICC>0.7, 2, k model used).


The MPN-SAF is comprehensive and reliable instrument which is available in multiple languages to evaluate MPN-associated symptoms. The MPN-SAF is recommended as a uniform symptom assessment tool for MPN patients participating in clinical trials globally.


Vannucchi:Novartis: Consultancy. Samuelsson:Roche Sweden:. Harrison:Incyte: Honoraria; Novartis: Honoraria. Mesa:SBio: Research Funding; Novartis: Research Funding; Celgene: Research Funding; Incyte: Research Funding; Roche: Research Funding; eisai: Research Funding; telik: Research Funding.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.