Changes in quality of life and disease-related symptoms in patients with polycythemia vera receiving ruxolitinib or standard therapy

Eur J Haematol. 2016 Aug;97(2):192-200. doi: 10.1111/ejh.12707. Epub 2016 Jan 3.


Objectives: Polycythemia vera (PV)-related symptoms may not be adequately controlled with conventional therapy. This current analysis of the RESPONSE trial evaluated the effects of ruxolitinib compared with standard therapy on quality of life (QoL) and symptoms in patients with PV who were hydroxyurea resistant/intolerant.

Methods: In the previously reported primary analysis, ruxolitinib achieved the primary composite endpoint of hematocrit control and ≥35% reduction in spleen volume at Week 32. The current analysis evaluated patient-reported outcomes using the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-Core 30 (EORTC QLQ-C30), the Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Symptom Assessment Form (MPN-SAF), the Pruritus Symptom Impact Scale (PSIS), and the Patient Global Impression of Change (PGIC).

Results: Compared with standard therapy, ruxolitinib was associated with greater improvements in global health status/QoL, functional subscales, and individual symptom scores of the EORTC QLQ-C30. At Week 32, more patients in the ruxolitinib arm (44%) achieved a ≥10-point improvement in global health status/QoL vs. standard therapy (9%). Improvements in MPN-SAF symptom scores were consistent with improvements in EORTC QLQ-C30, PSIS, and PGIC scores.

Conclusions: Ruxolitinib provides clinically relevant improvements in QoL and ameliorates symptom burden in patients with PV who are hydroxyurea resistant/intolerant.

Keywords: polycythemia vera; quality of life; signs and symptoms.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures
  • Polycythemia Vera / diagnosis
  • Polycythemia Vera / epidemiology*
  • Polycythemia Vera / therapy*
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Pyrazoles / administration & dosage
  • Pyrazoles / adverse effects
  • Pyrazoles / therapeutic use*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Standard of Care*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • INCB018424
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Pyrazoles