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Baseline Factors May Predict Mortality Risk in Myelofibrosis

Last Updated: September 29, 2009.

Three baseline factors in the bone marrow disease myelofibrosis can be used to identify patients at the highest risk of death, according to a study published online Sept. 28 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

TUESDAY, Sept. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Three baseline factors in the bone marrow disease myelofibrosis can be used to identify patients at the highest risk of death, according to a study published online Sept. 28 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Constantine S. Tam, of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues analyzed the baseline characteristics of 370 consecutive myelofibrosis patients to identify factors of the disease's accelerated phase and median survival of 12 months or less. The factors were validated by following chronic myelofibrosis patients without the factors until they developed them, then tracking their survival.

The researchers identified three factors associated with poor survival: blood or bone marrow blasts equal to or greater than 10 percent, platelets less than 50 × 109/L, and chromosome 17 aberrations, which were associated with median survival of 10, 12, and five months, respectively. However, the factors apparently failed to identify all patients at risk of death, as only 46 percent of the deaths in the study occurred in patients with any of the accelerated phase factors.

"Similar to the situation with chronic myeloid leukemia, other criteria will be identified as increased effort is put into defining risk factors for imminent death in myelofibrosis patients," the authors write.

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