Individualizing Care for Patients With Myeloproliferative Neoplasms: Integrating Genetics, Evolving Therapies, and Patient-Specific Disease Burden

Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book. 2016;35:e324-35. doi: 10.1200/EDBK_159322.


Individualized medicine is important for patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), including essential thrombocythemia, polycythemia vera, and myelofibrosis, which are heterogeneous in terms of genetic mutation profile, prognosis, disease burden, and symptoms. Status of MPN driver mutations in JAK2, CALR, and MPL (or lack of one of these mutations) and other myeloid mutations (ASXL1, SRSF2, CBL, and IDH1/2, among others) affects diagnosis and prognosis. Management begins with estimating the prognosis, disease burden including MPN symptoms, and prevention of vascular events. Allogeneic stem cell transplantation is the definitive therapy in a subset of patients with myelofibrosis, the majority of whom receive JAK inhibition with ruxolitinib to relieve splenomegaly and symptoms and to prolong survival. Ruxolitinib is now a second-line therapy in polycythemia vera, with pegylated interferon being evaluated as a potential front-line therapy compared with hydroxyurea. The therapeutic landscape is evolving to include new JAK inhibitors, which may affect cytopenias (pacritinib and momelotinib), combination therapies including ruxolitinib, and novel targets such as pentraxin and telomerase. Assessing the therapeutic efficacy (including symptom impact) and toxicity of these new approaches is necessary to determine longitudinal management of MPNs in clinical practice and is a key component of "individualizing" care for patients with MPNs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenylate Kinase / genetics
  • Benzamides / therapeutic use
  • Bridged-Ring Compounds / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Janus Kinase 2 / genetics
  • Myeloproliferative Disorders / genetics
  • Myeloproliferative Disorders / pathology
  • Myeloproliferative Disorders / therapy*
  • Polycythemia Vera / drug therapy*
  • Polycythemia Vera / genetics
  • Polycythemia Vera / pathology
  • Precision Medicine
  • Primary Myelofibrosis / drug therapy*
  • Primary Myelofibrosis / genetics
  • Primary Myelofibrosis / pathology
  • Pyrimidines / therapeutic use
  • Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Thrombocythemia, Essential / drug therapy*
  • Thrombocythemia, Essential / genetics
  • Thrombocythemia, Essential / pathology
  • Transplantation, Homologous


  • 11-(2-pyrrolidin-1-ylethoxy)-14,19-dioxa-5,7,26-triazatetracyclo(,6).1(8,12))heptacosa-1(25),2(26),3,5,8,10,12(27),16,21,23-decaene
  • Benzamides
  • Bridged-Ring Compounds
  • Pyrimidines
  • N-(cyanomethyl)-4-(2-((4-(4-morpholinyl)phenyl)amino)-4-pyrimidinyl)benzamide
  • JAK2 protein, human
  • Janus Kinase 2
  • Adenylate Kinase
  • adenylate kinase 2