Anemia is a common occurrence in MF patients. An analysis of MF patients presenting to the Mayo Clinic revealed that nearly 40% of these individuals have significant anemia, defined as hemoglobin (Hb) <10 g/dL.1 Almost one-fourth of MF patients initiate RBC transfusion at diagnosis, typically on a biweekly schedule.2 These individuals are referred to as ‘transfusion dependent.’ Rates of anemia typically increase over time. At one year post-diagnosis, two-thirds of MF patients are anemic and 45% are transfusion dependent, attesting to the progressive nature of this disease.2,3
The threshold for transfusion is typically about Hb <8 g/dL. However, the era of COVID-19 has seen a reduction in the blood supply and a reluctance to unnecessarily expose patients to potential infection, so many experts have decreased the threshold to <7 g/dL. Interestingly, this new threshold may be adopted into standard practice, as studies show that patients can maintain a good quality of life with lower Hb levels than previously assumed.4
For more information on the treatment of MF-associated anemia, please view the full newsletter by clicking here.
This activity is supported by educational grants from Bristol-Myers Squibb and Incyte Corporation.
- Tefferi A, Lasho TL, Jimma T, et al. One thousand patients with primary myelofibrosis: The Mayo Clinic experience. Mayo Clin Proc. 2012;87:25-33.
- Naymagon L, Mascarenhas J. Myelofibrosis-Related Anemia: Current and Emerging Therapeutic Strategies. Hemasphere. 2017;20(1):e1.
- Seymour C. Week 24 Transfusion Independence With Momelotinib Is Associated With Improved OS in Myelofibrosis. June 10, 2021. https://www.onclive.com/view/week-24-transfusion-independence-with-momelotinib-is-associated-with-improved-os-in-myelofibrosis. Accessed January 4, 2022.
- Koutsavlis I. Transfusion Thresholds, Quality of Life, and Current Approaches in Myelodysplastic Syndromes. Anemia. 2016;2016:8494738.