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Papers of the Week

2020 May 17

Ann Hematol

Modern management of splenomegaly in patients with myelofibrosis.


Tremblay D, Schwartz M, Bakst R, Patel R, Schiano T, Kremyanskaya M, Hoffman R, Mascarenhas J
Ann Hematol. 2020 May 17.
PMID: 32417942.


Myelofibrosis (MF) is a chronic myeloproliferative neoplasm which can lead to massive splenomegaly secondary to extramedullary hematopoiesis. Patients frequently exhibit debilitating symptoms including pain and early satiety, in addition to cellular sequestration causing severe cytopenias. JAK 1/2 inhibitors, such as ruxolitinib and fedratinib, are the mainstay of therapy and produce significant and durable reductions in spleen volume. However, many patients are not eligible for JAK 2 inhibitor therapy or become refractory to treatment over time. Novel therapies are in development that can reduce the degree of splenomegaly for some of these patients. However, splenectomy, splenic irradiation, and partial splenic artery embolization remain valuable therapeutic options in select patients. In this review, we will discuss currently available pharmacologic therapies and describe promising drugs currently in development. We will also delve into the efficacy and safety concerns of splenectomy, splenic irradiation, and partial splenic artery embolization. Finally, we will propose a treatment algorithm to help guide clinicians in the management of symptomatic splenomegaly in patients with MF.