Ruxolitinib: evolution or revolution in treatment of patients with polycythemia vera?

Future Oncol. 2016 Mar;12(6):739-49. doi: 10.2217/fon-2015-0023. Epub 2016 Feb 5.


Current treatments for polycythemia vera have remained unchanged for decades with phlebotomy, hydroxycarbamide (also named hydroxyurea) and to a lesser extent interferon being the cornerstones in our therapeutic armamentarium. However, some patients do not respond to, or indeed experience significant side effects to, these current agents and development of alternative therapeutic options is required. Ruxolitinib, a potent JAK1/2 inhibitor, initially approved for myelofibrosis, was recently approved for patients with polycythemia vera refractory or intolerant to hydroxycarbamide. In this article, we review the currently available efficacy and safety data.

Keywords: myeloproliferative neoplasms; outcomes; polycythemia vera; ruxolitinib; treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic
  • Clinical Trials, Phase III as Topic
  • Humans
  • Janus Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Nitriles
  • Polycythemia Vera / drug therapy*
  • Polycythemia Vera / metabolism
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Pyrazoles / chemistry
  • Pyrazoles / pharmacology
  • Pyrazoles / therapeutic use*
  • Pyrimidines
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Nitriles
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Pyrazoles
  • Pyrimidines
  • ruxolitinib
  • Janus Kinases