Dr. Cortes on the Safety Profile of Ruxolitinib in MPNs

April 7, 2020
Jorge E. Cortes, MD

Jorge E. Cortes, MD, discusses the safety profile of ruxolitinib in patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms.

Jorge E. Cortes, MD, director of the Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University, discusses the safety profile of ruxolitinib (Jakafi) in patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs).

Ruxolitinib is generally well-tolerated; however, but the main issue with the safety profile of the agent is myelosuppression, says Cortes. Anemia and thrombocytopenia are also observed with the agent, and these events require close monitoring, adds Cortes. Additionally, these toxicities are dose-dependent, so patients who develop these events may need to have their dosage decreased to appropriately manage their symptoms.

With regard to patients who stop therapy, there is concern regarding whether they would experience withdrawal syndrome, adds Cortes. It’s important to remember that ruxolitinib decreases a variety of cytokines and this syndrome may be related to a rapid bounce back of the cytokine levels, says Cortes; this could cause shortness of breath, fever, and hypertension. Patients will need to be monitored for symptoms early on in therapy to manage the toxicities associated with the agent, concludes Cortes.

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