Etanercept, a soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor, palliates constitutional symptoms in patients with myelofibrosis with myeloid metaplasia: results of a pilot study

Blood. 2002 Mar 15;99(6):2252-4. doi: 10.1182/blood.v99.6.2252.


Patients with myelofibrosis with myeloid metaplasia (MMM) often experience debilitating constitutional symptoms such as drenching night sweats, profound fatigue, unexplained fevers, and unintentional weight loss. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) contributes to organ fibrosis and hypercatabolic symptoms in a variety of disease states. We conducted an open-label pilot study of etanercept, a soluble TNF receptor, administered at a dose of 25 mg subcutaneously twice weekly for up to 24 weeks in 22 patients with MMM. Of 20 evaluable patients, 12 (60%) experienced an improvement in constitutional symptoms, and 4 (20%) had an objective response (improvement in peripheral cytopenias or spleen size). The degree of marrow fibrosis was unchanged, and only minor changes in overall marrow cellularity were observed. Toxicity was mild, with injection site reactions (20%) and minor infections (10%) as the most common side effects. One patient developed reversible pancytopenia. Etanercept may be useful for palliation of constitutional symptoms in MMM.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / toxicity
  • Etanercept
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / administration & dosage*
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / toxicity
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Platelet Count
  • Primary Myelofibrosis / complications
  • Primary Myelofibrosis / drug therapy*
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / administration & dosage*
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / therapeutic use
  • Splenomegaly / drug therapy
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Etanercept