ASH Annual Meeting : Episode 1


RESPONSE Trial Validates Ruxolitinib in Polycythemia Vera

Ruben A. Mesa, MD, from Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Scottsdale, AZ, describes exciting findings from the phase III RESPONSE trial for polycythemia vera (PV).

The RESPONSE trial compared ruxolitinib and best available therapy in patients with PV who were intolerant of or resistant to first-line therapy is hydroxyurea. Researcher found that ruxolitinib was superior to best available therapy in terms of hematocrit, splenomegaly, and achieving a complete remission. Based on the RESPONSE study findings, ruxolitinib was FDA approved on December 4, 2014 as a second-line therapy for PV.

At ASH 2014, Mesa presented data related to the quality-of-life benefits from ruxolitinib. Benefits were seen at both the individual symptom level, eg, including itching, night sweats, etc.; and at the aggregate symptom level.

Additionally, Mesa discusses data related to patients who crossed-over to ruxolitinib after 32-weeks of best available therapy. Patient receiving this delayed treatment with ruxolitinib experienced high levels of response, comparable to those who had initially received ruxolitinib. These findings support the primary RESPONSE results and further validate the efficacy of ruxolitinib in this patient population.

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