Real-World Outcomes of Ruxolitinib Treatment for Polycythemia Vera

Alexander Coltoff, Ruben Mesa, Jason Gotlib, Jessica Shulman, Raajit K. Rampal, Olivia Siwoski, Abdulraheem Yacoub, Alison Moliterno, Anna Yang, Evan Braunstein, Aaron T. Gerds, Gabriela S. Hobbs, Elliott F. Winton, Swati Goel, Martha Wadleigh, Douglas Tremblay, Erin Moshier, John Mascarenhas

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Introduction: Ruxolitinib is approved for the treatment of polycythemia vera (PV) with hydroxyurea resistance or intolerance. Approval was based on the phase III RESPONSE trial, which demonstrated efficacy in a highly selected patient population. Materials and Methods: To characterize the tolerability and outcomes of ruxolitinib outside of a clinical trial, we performed a multi-center retrospective analysis of patients with PV treated with ruxolitinib at 11 participating sites across the United States. Outcomes of interest included change in phlebotomy requirements after starting ruxolitinib and spleen response, as these were included in the primary composite outcome in the RESPONSE trial. Results: One hundred twenty-six patients met eligibility criteria, and the median duration of follow-up was 22.4 months (range, 0-63.0 months). At 32 weeks after starting ruxolitinib, the percentage of patients who received at least 1 phlebotomy was significantly decreased compared with before ruxolitinib (37% vs. 56%; relative risk [RR], 0.66; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.52-0.84; P <.001). Phlebotomy requirements were similarly decreased in patients who had received at least 3 phlebotomies prior to ruxolitinib initiation (28% vs. 17%; RR, 1.65; 95% CI, 1.13-2.40; P <.01). Resolution of palpable splenomegaly was also documented (48% vs. 20%; RR, 2.45; 95% CI, 1.70-3.53; P <.0001). A total of 9.5% of patients discontinued ruxolitinib owing to treatment-emergent adverse events, and 81.7% of patients were receiving ruxolitinib at last known follow-up. Conclusion: These real-world results are similar to those reported from the RESPONSE trial, although additional follow-up is necessary to assess long-term outcomes and potential for late-onset toxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)697-703.e1
JournalClinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • Myeloproliferative
  • Neoplasm
  • Phlebotomy
  • Splenomegaly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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