The presence of constitutional symptoms has been associated with increased mortality risk in myelofibrosis (MF) (Blood 2010;115(9):1703-8). New therapies exist which alleviate the severe symptom burden profile observed in MF patients but are only approved for use in those with intermediate-2 or high risk disease (N Engl J Med 2012;366:787-798). However, it has been proposed that there are patients who may benefit from symptom based treatment regardless of prognostic score (Am Soc Hematol Educ Program 2014;2014:277-286). We have recently characterized symptom score cutoffs at which patients would statistically benefit from treatment based on symptom scores alone (Scherber et. al. EHA 2016: a2250). These treatment thresholds included aMyeloproliferative Neoplasm Symptom Assessment Form Total Symptom Score (MPN-SAF TSS or MPN-10) total score of greater than or equal to 20, a worst individual item score of greater than 5, or a combined criteria of those with both an MPN-10 total score of greater than or equal to 20 and a worst individual item score greater than 5. This abstract represents an additional analysis of our MF cohort to better characterize the profile of patients who meet criteria for symptom-based therapy.


Patient demographics, symptom burden via the MPN-10 score (JCO 2012;30(33)4098-103), and disease traits were collected from MF patients and their physicians at a single time point during therapy. Previously we identified MPN-10 cutoffs via AkaikeÕs Information Criterion (AIC) analysis (Ecology 2014;95: 631-6), which represented the optimal model among all models specified for the data at hand to determine which patients would most benefit from symptom-directed therapy.


Demographics. 695 MF patients without previousruxolitinib therapy were included in this analysis. Overall, of 455 patients (65.4%) fit a cutoff of having a single worst symptom item of greater than 5/10. 401 patients (57.7%) had a MPN-10 score of equal to or greater than 20. A total of 381 (54.8%) patients fit both of these criteria. A distribution of worse MPN-10 individual scores is shown in Table 1. Mean TSS score was 26.4 (SD=17.7).

Symptom Criteria Associations. Demographics and disease traits: Neither mean age or age greater than 60 was significantly associated with meeting any of the symptom score cutoff criteria. Females were significantly more likely to meet any of the symptom score cutoffs (for all criteria, p=0.0003 or less). Patients with splenomegaly, particularly spleen size of greater than 15cm below the LCM, were significantly more likely than those with a normal sized spleen to meet any of the three criteria (spleen enlargement of any size p=0.014 or less; spleen greater than 15cm p=0.0114 or less). Patients who met any of the three symptom criteria tended to have a longer MPN duration, although this trend did not meet significance. A prior history of thrombosis was not associated with achieving any cutoff criterions.

Symptom burden: Individuals who met the any symptom criteria were significantly more likely to have higher DIPSS prognostic risk score (for all p=0.0002 or less).

Laboratory values: For those meeting criteria for a worst symptom greater than 5, mean WBC was 11.7 vs 9.1 x 109/L (p=0.025) and platelet count was 238.7 versus 329.1 (p=0.023). For those meeting criteria for a TSS greater than or equal to 20, mean WBC was 11.8 vs 9.5 x 109/L (p=0.04). For individuals meeting both criteria, mean WBC was 11.9 vs 9.5 x 109/L (p=0.034). The presence of peripheral blasts were significantly more common in patients with an individual worst symptom score greater than 5 (p=0.0364). Hemoglobin level was not significantly associated with symptom criteria for any cutoffs.


Our analysis indicates that patients who would be treated based on symptom criteria are similar to patients who would be treated based on high risk features such as high DIPSS prognostic score, concerning blood count abnormalities (i.e., leukocytosis, thrombocytopenia, presence of peripheral blasts), and splenomegaly (particularly massive splenomegaly). Thrombosis history and age were not associated with criterion cutoff assignment, and it is notable that elderly age nor history of thrombosis alone would likely alter treatment choice other than anticoagulation. This data supports that JAK2 inhibitor treatment be strongly considered in patients meeting symptom based criteria.


Dueck:Bayer: Honoraria. Kiladjian:Novartis: Honoraria, Research Funding; AOP Orphan: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding. Zweegman:Celgene: Honoraria, Research Funding; Janssen: Honoraria, Research Funding; Takeda: Honoraria, Research Funding. Schouten:Sanofi: Consultancy; Novartis: Consultancy. Etienne:ARIAD: Speakers Bureau; Pfizer: Speakers Bureau; novartis: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau; BMS: Speakers Bureau. Harrison:Shire: Honoraria, Speakers Bureau; Gilead: Honoraria, Speakers Bureau; Baxaltra: Consultancy, Honoraria, Speakers Bureau; Incyte Corporation: Honoraria, Speakers Bureau; Novartis: Consultancy, Honoraria, Other: travel, accommodations, expenses, Research Funding, Speakers Bureau. Radia:Novartis: Honoraria; Pfizer: Honoraria. Cervantes:Novartis: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Speakers Bureau; Baxalta: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Speakers Bureau; AOP Orphan: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees. Vannucchi:Novartis: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding, Speakers Bureau. Mesa:Promedior: Research Funding; Celgene: Research Funding; CTI: Research Funding; Gilead: Research Funding; Incyte: Research Funding; Galena: Consultancy; Ariad: Consultancy; Novartis: Consultancy.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.

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