Introduction: Myelofibrosis is a hematologic malignancy with a variety of clinical manifestations including splenomegaly, which is present in approximately 80% of newly diagnosed patients. JAK inhibitors are the mainstay of pharmacologic treatment for splenomegaly in myelofibrosis, although spleen size reduction is not universal, and the duration of benefit is only moderately durable. Areas covered: We first discuss the pathobiology of splenomegaly in myelofibrosis before detailing approved and novel pharmacotherapies that can reduce spleen size while also highlighting non-pharmacologic approaches. In this review, efficacy of these treatments is measured solely by spleen volume reduction, acknowledging that other outcome measures such as symptom improvement and survival are also critical. Expert opinion: Currently, ruxolitinib can be administered to the majority of frontline patients although those with severe thrombocytopenia should receive pacritinib to address spleen burden. Momelotinib may be particularly well suited for patients with significant anemia and novel combination treatments in clinical development may improve the depth and duration of spleen responses. After frontline treatment failure, fedratinib, or pacritinib are commercial options for patients with persistent symptomatic splenomegaly. Novel agents given alone or in combination with a JAK inhibitor are being explored in trials, which may ameliorate splenomegaly and ultimately improve disease progression.
- JAK inhibition
- myeloproliferative neoplasms