Jakafi Named Recommended Treatment for Myelofibrosis in NCCN Guideline

As part of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network's new clinical guidelines for myeloproliferative neoplasms, a group of rare blood cancers, Jakafi has been recommended for the treatment of myelofibrosis.

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has published new clinical guidelines for myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), a group of 3 rare blood cancers: myelofibrosis, essential thrombocythemia, and polycythemia vera (PV).

The first-in-class JAK1/JAK2 inhibitor Incyte's Jakafi (marketed as Jakavi outside of the United States) was included in the guidelines as a recommended treatment for myelofibrosis, a rare bone marrow cancer that affects just 13,000 people in the United States.

“We are pleased that Jakafi has been recommended in the first set of NCCN treatment guidelines for MPNs, which will help inform healthcare providers’ treatment decisions for patients with [myelofibrosis]," said Peg Squier, MD, PhD, Incyte’s Head of US Medical Affairs, said in a statement. "We believe that this underscores the important and long-term clinical benefits seen in patients treated with Jakafi.”

Myelofibrosis is a progressive disease in which a patient’s bone marrow no longer produces enough normal blood cells. This results in the spleen and or liver to become enlarged and the disease leads to bone marrow scarring and symptoms such as anemia, fatigue, and itching that can be debilitating and result in a poor quality of life. Patients with myelofibrosis have an average survival of 5 to 6 years.

While the cause of myelofibrosis is still unknown, it has been linked to genetic mutations as 50% to 60% of patients have a mutation of the JAK2 (Janus Kinase 2) gene.

While Jakafi (ruxolitinib) has been approved for people with intermediate or high-risk myelofibrosis, it is also indicated for the treatment of PV for people who have had an inadequate response to or are intolerant of hydroxyurea.

“The management of MPNs has been variable in the past and largely driven by review articles and individual opinions,” Ruben A. Mesa, MD, FACP, of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center and chair of the NCCN Guidelines Panel for MPN, said in a statement. “The NCCN Guidelines Panel for MPN hopes these inaugural Guidelines will help leverage the evidence base in MPN care for clear, well-informed, treatment guidelines to hopefully improve quality of care and provide better outcomes for patients with MPN.”