A disease of the bone marrow where fibrous tissue, known as reticulin, replaces normal healthy bone marrow cells, such as white blood cells, red blood cells, or platelets. If the bone marrow cannot make enough red blood cells, the spleen or liver may make red blood cells which causes the spleen or liver to get bigger. An enlarged spleen or liver can cause abdominal discomfort and may push on the stomach making it difficult to eat an entire meal. Patients with myelofibrosis can also have excessive, or too much growth of certain cells such as white blood cells, red blood cells, or platelets. Myelofibrosis may increase the risk of a blood clot, bleeding, or infection, or cause “constitutional symptoms” such as fatigue, fever, weight loss, or night sweats.
Myelofibrosis is a rare condition. There are no known causes of myelofibrosis, however it can result when patients with other bone marrow disorders, such as polycythemia vera or essential thrombocythemia, get worse. Very rarely, these as well as other types of cancer can cause fibrosis of the marrow. This is known as “secondary myelofibrosis.” The stage of myelofibrosis can vary at diagnosis and throughout treatment. Prognostic scoring systems for myelofibrosis take into account the degree of fibrous tissue (reticulin) in the marrow, age, white blood cell count, hemoglobin, platelet count, presence of “blast cells” in the blood, and symptoms. The effectiveness of the treatment may depend upon the prognostic score.
NOTE: Treatment Options listed below are not all-inclusive. Other treatments may be available. ChemoExperts provides drug information and does not recommend any one treatment over another. Only your Doctor can choose which therapy is appropriate for you.
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Created: September 15, 2016 Updated: April 26, 2017
Gangat N, Caramazza D, Vaidya R, et al. DIPSS plus: a refined Dynamic International Prognostic Scoring System for primary myelofibrosis that incorporates prognostic information from karyotype, platelet count, and transfusion status. J Clin Oncol. 2011;29:392-397.