Treatment options are limited for patients with advanced forms of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) including blast-phase disease (MPN-BP). Decitabine has frequently been deployed but its efficacy and safety profile are not well described in this population. We retrospectively reviewed 42 patients treated with decitabine either alone or in combination with ruxolitinib at our institution: 16 with MPN-BP, 14 with MPN accelerated-phase (MPN-AP), and 12 with myelofibrosis with high-risk features (MF-HR). The median overall survival (OS) for the MPN-BP patients was 2.6 months, and for those who received ≥2 cycles of decitabine therapy, it was 6.7 months (3.8-29.8). MPN-BP patients with a poor performance status and who required hospitalization at the time of the initiation of decitabine had a dismal prognosis. After a median follow-up of 12.4 months for MPN-AP patients, and 38.7 months for MF-HR patients, the median OS was not reached for either cohort, with 1 and 2 patients alive at 60 months, respectively. The probability of spleen length reduction and transfusion independence within 12 months of initiating decitabine was 28.6 and 23.5%, respectively. The combination of decitabine and ruxolitinib appeared to improve overall survival versus single-agent decitabine (21 and 12.9 months, respectively). Decitabine, alone or in combination with ruxolitinib, appears to have clinical benefit for patients with advanced phases of MPN when initiated early in the disease course prior to the development of MPN-BP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-57
Number of pages10
JournalActa Haematologica
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


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