Therapeutic approaches in myelofibrosis and myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative overlap syndromes

Onco Targets Ther. 2016 Apr 15;9:2273-86. doi: 10.2147/OTT.S83868. eCollection 2016.


The discovery of JAK2 (V617F) a decade ago led to optimism for a rapidly developing treatment revolution in Ph(-) myeloproliferative neoplasms. Unlike BCR-ABL, however, JAK2 was found to have a more heterogeneous role in carcinogenesis. Therefore, for years, development of new therapies was slow, despite standard treatment options that did not address the overwhelming symptom burden in patients with primary myelofibrosis (MF), post-essential thrombocythemia MF, post-polycythemia vera MF, and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)/myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) syndromes. JAK-STAT inhibitors have changed this, drastically ameliorating symptoms and ultimately beginning to show evidence of impact on survival. Now, the genetic foundations of myelofibrosis and MDS/MPN are rapidly being elucidated and contributing to targeted therapy development. This has been empowered through updated response criteria for MDS/MPN and refined prognostic scoring systems in these diseases. The aim of this article is to summarize concisely the current and rationally designed investigational therapeutics directed at JAK-STAT, hedgehog, PI3K-Akt, bone marrow fibrosis, telomerase, and rogue epigenetic signaling. The revolution in immunotherapy and novel treatments aimed at previously untargeted signaling pathways provides hope for considerable advancement in therapy options for those with chronic myeloid disease.

Keywords: MDS/MPN neoplasms; emerging therapy.

Publication types

  • Review