Polycythemia Vera Case Study - Final Thoughts on Ruxolitinib
Srdan Verstovsek, MD, PhD
Verstovsek: Once we decide that there is a need for a change in therapy from hydroxyurea to something else, and that would be my choice, ruxolitinib as it is approved in the United States for patients who are intolerant and resistant to hydroxyurea, I would expect rapid improvements in all aspects of the disease, particularly quality of life. Within a couple of weeks, patients feel much better, they tell me that they have never felt as good as on ruxolitinib because it really does through anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative activities control disease sign symptoms. Now, the blood cell count will be controlled very rarely in majority of the patients, need for phlebotomy would be also eliminated in the majority of the patients or delayed significantly and in those who have a big spleen, the spleen should shrink.
Srdan Verstovsek, MD, PhD of the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas notes that in his experience, patients with polycythemia vera who are unresponsive to hydroxyurea tend to have much improves symptoms and quality of life once they begin ruxolitinib treatment.