Venetoclax with azacitidine or decitabine in blast-phase myeloproliferative neoplasm: A multicenter series of 32 consecutive cases

Naseema Gangat, Paola Guglielmelli, Natasha Szuber, Kebede H. Begna, Mrinal M. Patnaik, Mark R. Litzow, Aref Al-Kali, James M. Foran, Jeanne M. Palmer, Hassan Alkhateeb, Michelle A. Elliott, Curtis A. Hanson, Animesh Pardanani, Francesco Mannelli, Alessandro M. Vannucchi, Ayalew Tefferi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Venetoclax (Ven) combined with a hypomethylating agent (HMA) has now emerged as an effective treatment regimen for acute myeloid leukemia, in both de novo and relapsed/refractory setting. The current multicenter study retrospectively examined Ven + HMA treatment outcome among 32 patients (median age 69 years; 59% males) with blast-phase myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN-BP). Pre-leukemic phenotype included essential thrombocythemia (ET)/post-ET myelofibrosis (34%), polycythemia vera (PV)/post-PV myelofibrosis (38%) and primary myelofibrosis (28%). Twenty-nine study patients were fully annotated cytogenetically and molecularly (NGS): 69% harbored complex karyotype and/or mutations, including TP53 (41%), IDH1/2 (21%), ASXL1 (21%), N/KRAS (14%), SRSF2 (10%), EZH2 (10%) and U2AF1 (7%). All patients received Ven combined with either azacitidine (n = 12) or decitabine (n = 20); either up front (n = 23) or after failing another induction therapy (n = 9). Complete remission with (CR) or without (CRi) count recovery was achieved in 14 (44%) patients and was more likely to occur in the absence of pre-leukemic PV/post-PV myelofibrosis phenotype (p <.01), complex karyotype (p <.01) or K/NRAS (p =.03) mutations; seven of eight patients (88%) without vs four of 21 (19%) with complex karyotype or K/NRAS mutation achieved CR/CRi (p <.01); all 11 informative patients with pre-leukemic PV/post-PV myelofibrosis phenotype displayed complex karyotype (p <.01). In contrast, neither TP53 (p =.45) nor IDH1/2 (p =.63) mutations affected response. Compared to historical controls treated with HMA alone (n = 26), the CR/CRi rate (44% vs 4%) and median survival (8 vs 5.5 months) were more favorable with Ven + HMA, but without significant difference in overall survival. Importantly, six patients with CR/CRi subsequently received allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (AHSCT). Note, Ven + HMA produces robust CR/CRi rates in MPN-BP, especially in the absence of RAS mutations and complex karyotype, thus enabling AHSCT, in some patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)781-789
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of hematology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


Dive into the research topics of 'Venetoclax with azacitidine or decitabine in blast-phase myeloproliferative neoplasm: A multicenter series of 32 consecutive cases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this