Dr. Verstovsek on the Rationale for Utilizing Ruxolitinib/Navitoclax in Relapsed/Refractory Myelofibrosis

Srdan Verstovsek, MD, PhD, discusses the rationale for utilizing ruxolitinib and navitoclax in patients with relapsed/refractory myelofibrosis.

Srdan Verstovsek, MD, PhD, the United Energy Resources, Inc. Professor of Medicine, director of the Hanns A. Pielenz Clinical Research Center for Myeloproliferative Neoplasms​, and chief of the Section for Myeloproliferative Neoplasms in the Department of Leukemia of the Division of Cancer Medicine at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the rationale for utilizing ruxolitinib (Jakafi) and navitoclax in patients with relapsed/refractory myelofibrosis.

The combination of ruxolitinib and navitoclax is an interesting concept because in myelofibrosis, the majority of patients will experience benefit from ruxolitinib, Verstovsek says. For example, 97.1% of patients in the phase 3 COMFORT-II study (NCT00934544) achieved at least a 35% reduction in splenic volume after being treated with the agent, he explains. However, it is different when an analysis specifically focuses responders because certain thresholds must be met, such as a 35% reduction in spleen volume or a certain reduction in symptoms, Verstovsek says.

While most patients benefit, a certain population of patients only experience a suboptimal response or do not experience a long duration of response, leaving room for improvement, Verstovsek concludes.