Momelotinib Outperforms Danocrine in Myelofibrosis Symptom Management

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Momelotinib led to symptom, spleen and anemia benefits for patients with previously treated myelofibrosis, according to updated study findings.

Bone marrow | Image credit: © 7activestudio - © - stock.adobe.com

Myelofibrosis is a disease that starts in the bone marrow, and a recent study showed that momelotinib may be beneficial to patients with the condtion.

Patients with previously treated myelofibrosis (a type of myeloproliferative neoplasm) tended to benefit more regarding symptom, spleen and anemia outcomes when administered a regimen of momelotinib compared with those given Danocrine (danazol), according to updated findings of the recently completed phase 3 MOMENTUM trial.

“Momelotinib was associated with durable symptom, spleen, and anemia benefits, late responses after week 24 and favorable safety through week 48. These results highlight the potential benefits of treatment with momelotinib in patients with myelofibrosis, particularly those with anemia,” the researchers wrote in their findings, which were published in the journal The Lancet Hematology.

The study involved 195 adults with post-polycythemia vera or post-essential thrombocythemia myelofibrosis that were previously treated with a JAK inhibitor for 90 days or more. Two-thirds of participants (130 patients) were randomly assigned to receive momelotinib, while the other third (65 patients) were randomly assigned to receive Danocrine.

After 24 weeks, all patients were eligible to receive momelotinib, and 93 (72%) and 41 (63%) in the momelotinib and Danocrine groups, respectively, entered the momelotinib open-label extension period.

Among the patients who continued on momelotinib treatment and were evaluable based on total symptom score criteria, 30 (45%) patients in the original momelotinib group and 15 (50%) in the Danocrine groups responded to treatment, meaning that their disease shrank or disappeared from the therapy.

A total of 45 patients (34.62%) in the momelotinib group died of any cause compared with 26 (40%) in the Danocrine group.

READ MORE: Myelofibrosis: Novel Treatment Strategies and Combination Therapies

Momelotinib works by inhibiting JAK2 signaling pathway. Of note, JAK2 is a genetic mutation that is commonly found in patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms and leads to scarring in the bone marrow. This scarring inhibits the marrow’s ability to produce healthy blood cells — a condition known as myelofibrosis.

Long-term follow-up revealed no new side effects from momelotinib, with the most common non-blood-related side effects from the drug being diarrhea (45 patients [26%] in the momelotinib group) and weakness or lack of energy (28 [16%]). The most common moderate to severe (grade 3 or 4) side effects were thrombocytopenia (33 [19%]) and anemia (30 [18%]). A total of 79 patients (46%) given momelotinib experienced at least one serious side effect, and 30 patients (18%) died from a treatment-emergent side effect, with two fatal treatment-emergent side effects considered to be potentially linked to momelotinib.

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