Second primary malignancy in myelofibrosis patients treated with ruxolitinib

N. Polverelli, E.M. Elli, E. Abruzzese, G.A. Palumbo, G. Benevolo, M. Tiribelli, M. Bonifacio, A. Tieghi, G. Caocci, M. D'Adda, M. Bergamaschi, G. Binotto, F.H. Heidel, F. Cavazzini, M. Crugnola, N. Pugliese, C. Bosi, A. Isidori, D. Bartoletti, G. AuteriR. Latagliata, L. Gandolfi, B. Martino, L. Scaffidi, D. Cattaneo, F. D’Amore, M.M. Trawinska, R. Stella, U. Markovic, L. Catani, F. Pane, A. Cuneo, M. Krampera, G. Semenzato, R.M. Lemoli, N. Vianelli, M. Breccia, D. Russo, M. Cavo, A. Iurlo, F. Palandri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ruxolitinib (RUX), the first JAK1/JAK2 inhibitor approved for myelofibrosis (MF) therapy, has recently been associated with the occurrence of second primary malignancies (SPMs), mainly lymphomas and non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSCs). We analyzed the incidence, risk factors and outcome of SPMs in 700 MF patients treated with RUX in a real-world context. Median follow-up from starting RUX was 2·9 years. Overall, 80 (11·4%) patients developed 87 SPMs after RUX start. NMSCs were the most common SPMs (50·6% of the cases). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that male sex [hazard ratio (HR): 2·37, 95% confidence interval (95%CI): 1·22–4·60, P = 0·01] and thrombocytosis> 400 × 109/l at RUX start (HR:1·98, 95%CI: 1·10–4·60, P = 0·02) were associated with increased risk for SPMs. Risk factors for NMSC alone were male sex (HR: 3·14, 95%CI: 1·24–7·92, P = 0·02) and duration of hydroxycarbamide and RUX therapy > 5 years (HR: 3·20, 95%CI: 1·17–8·75, P = 0·02 and HR: 2·93, 95%CI: 1·39–6·17, P = 0·005 respectively). In SPMs excluding NMSCs, male sex (HR: 2·41, 95%CI: 1·11–5·25, P = 0·03), platelet > 400 × 109/l (HR: 3·30, 95%CI: 1·67–6·50, P = 0·001) and previous arterial thromboses (HR: 3·47, 95%CI: 1·48–8·14, P = 0·004) were shown to be associated with higher risk of SPMs. While it is reassuring that no aggressive lymphoma was documented, active skin surveillance is recommended in all patients and particularly after prolonged hydroxycaramide therapy; oncological screening should be triggered by thrombocytosis and arterial thrombosis, particularly in males. © 2020 British Society for Haematology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Original languageEnglish
JournalBr. J. Haematol.
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • JAK inhibitors
  • myelofibrosis
  • ruxolitinib
  • second cancer
  • toxicity


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