Effective Management of Polycythemia Vera With Ropeginterferon Alfa-2b Treatment

Shan Shan Suo, Rong Feng Fu, Albert Qin, Zong Hong Shao, Jie Bai, Su Ning Chen, Ming Hui Duan, Hu Zhou, Na Xu, Su Jiang Zhang, Xue Lan Zuo, Xin Du, Li Wang, Pei Li, Xu Han Zhang, Dao Xiang Wu, Ya Ning Li, Jing Jing Zhang, Wei Wang, Wei Hong Shen, Oleh Zagrijtschuk, Toshiaki Sato, Zhi Jian Xiao, Jie Jin


Background: Polycythemia vera (PV) is a myeloproliferative neoplasm. Ropeginterferon alfa-2b is a new-generation polyethylene glycol-conjugated proline-interferon. It is approved for the treatment of PV at a starting dose of 100 µg (50 µg for patients receiving hydroxyurea (HU)) and dose titrations up to 500 µg by 50 µg increments. The study was aimed at assessing its efficacy and safety at a higher starting dose and simpler intra-patient dose escalation.

Methods: Forty-nine patients with PV having HU intolerance from major hospitals in China were treated biweekly with an initial dose of 250 µg, followed by 350 µg and 500 µg thereafter if tolerated. Complete hematological response (CHR) was assessed every 12 weeks based on the European LeukemiaNet criteria. The primary endpoint was the CHR rate at week 24. The secondary endpoints included CHR rates at weeks 12, 36 and 52, changes of JAK2V617F allelic burden, time to first CHR, and safety assessments.

Results: The CHR rates were 61.2%, 69.4% and 71.4% at weeks 24, 36, and 52, respectively. Mean allele burden of the driver mutation JAK2V617F declined from 58.5% at baseline to 30.1% at 52 weeks. Both CHR and JAK2V617F allele burden reduction showed consistent increases over the 52 weeks of the treatment. Twenty-nine patients (63.0%) achieved partial molecular response (PMR) and two achieved complete molecular response (CMR). The time to CHR was rapid and median time was 5.6 months according to central lab results. The CHRs were durable and median CHR duration time was not reached at week 52. Mean spleen index reduced from 55.6 cm2 at baseline to 50.2 cm2 at week 52. Adverse events (AEs) were mostly mild or moderate. Most common AEs were reversible alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase increases, which were not associated with significant elevations in bilirubin levels or jaundice. There were no grade 4 or 5 AEs. Grade 3 AEs were reversible and manageable. Only one AE led to discontinuation. No incidence of thromboembolic events was observed.

Conclusion: The 250-350-500 µg dosing regimen was well tolerated and effectively induced CHR and MR and managed spleen size increase. Our findings demonstrate that ropeginterferon alfa-2b at this dosing regimen can provide an effective management of PV and support using this dosing regimen as a treatment option.

J Hematol. 2024;13(1-2):12-22
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/jh1245


Ropeginterferon alfa-2b; Polycythemia vera; Complete hematological response; Molecular response; JAK2<sup>V617F</sup> allele burden; Hydroxyurea resistance or intolerance

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