Managing myelofibrosis (MF) that "blasts" through: advancements in the treatment of relapsed/refractory and blast-phase MF

Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program. 2018 Nov 30;2018(1):118-126. doi: 10.1182/asheducation-2018.1.118.


Myelofibrosis (MF) is the most aggressive form of Philadelphia chromosome-negative myeloproliferative neoplasm, and it is complicated by severe symptom burden, thrombotic events, infections, cytopenias, and transformation to acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Ruxolitinib, the first-line therapy for symptomatic or intermediate- and high-prognostic risk MF, has improved overall survival for this population. However, approximately one-half of MF patients will discontinue ruxolitinib by the first few years of therapy due to a spectrum of resistance, intolerance, relapse, or progression to blast phase disease. Danazol, erythropoietin-stimulating agents, and spleen-directed therapies can be useful in the ruxolitinib-resistant setting. In the ruxolitinib-refractory or -intolerant setting, commercial and novel therapies, either alone or in combination with ruxolitinib, have shown clinical utility. For blast-phase MF, the recent advancements in available AML therapies have increased the options with targeted and more tolerable therapies. In this article, we will discuss our paradigm for the management of relapsed/refractory and blast-phase MF in the context of therapeutic advancements in both AML and MF.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blast Crisis / diagnosis
  • Blast Crisis / drug therapy*
  • Blast Crisis / pathology
  • Danazol / therapeutic use*
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Humans
  • Primary Myelofibrosis / diagnosis
  • Primary Myelofibrosis / drug therapy*
  • Primary Myelofibrosis / pathology
  • Recurrence
  • Rituximab / therapeutic use*


  • Rituximab
  • Danazol