Jakafi is a drug for myelofibrosis which was approved by the FDA. Five studies were done in the year 2011 to understand the action and efficacy of the drug. The experiment was done on the subjects who had myelofibrosis. They were divided into two groups one that consumed Jakafi and other group took BAT (best available therapy that included hydroxyurea. It revealed that jakafi had more beneficial effects on the patients of myelofibrosis than BAT.
Does Jakafi Cure Myelofibrosis?
Jakafi can relieve the symptoms of myelofibrosis but it cannot provide a complete cure. Jakafi is the only drug that the FDA has approved for the treatment of myelofibrosis (MF). It is also known as ruxolitinib. It was approved in the year 2011 that jakafi can reduce the swelling of the spleen in myelofibrosis. It works more efficiently when consumed for a long time. (1)
Jakafi is a JAK1 and JAK2 inhibitor that is consumed orally. Its main function is to slow down the cell signaling process that may induce myelofibrosis. This disorder is a bone marrow disorder which is characterized by scarring of bone marrow. It influences the production of blood cells leading to insufficient blood cells circulating in the blood. It results in blood-related problems such as anemia, fatigue, weakness followed by swelling in the spleen and liver. It usually affects older people of age 60 years or above.
In this disease, the workload on spleen increases as blood cell counts drops down due to fibrosis or scarring of bone marrow. The spleen has to work more to produce new blood cells, resulting in swelling of the spleen.
In five studies done in 2011, the researchers found that jakafi has provided remarkable improvement in myelofibrosis. Spleen size gets reduced and survival rate also gets improved in the patients with myelofibrosis who consumed this drug for five years. The final results of comfort- II study confirmed the approval in the 57th annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology. In this study, the impact of Jakafi was compared with BAT (best available therapy). It was found that Jakafi showed a remarkable decrease in the size of spleen in 28% of patients as compared to other patients who were given BAT. (1)
In long term study, it was found that the percentage of people getting benefits from Jakafi crossed to 35 % and excelled over the group those who took hydroxyurea in the BAT group. It was also found that Jakafi remains safe and tolerable over the period of consumption with no change in its benefits. It was found that the drug brought striking improvement over time more than BAT.
Jakafi is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that plays a significant role in treating blood disorders such as polycythemia vera. It brought a lot of improvements in the patients’ lives with myelofibrosis. It also leads the stabilization of fibrosis of bone marrow. Hemoglobin level also improved. It was also revealed that reduction in death is seen in 33 % of patients in the Jakafi group than the BAT group.
In this study, it was also revealed that long term consumption of Jakafi may result in anemia, diarrhea, thrombocytopenia, breathing difficulties, etc. Few patients developed leukemia and few died in both the groups.
It is expected that the efficacy of Jakafi will be more explored in future studies. According to Harrison CN, a researcher in this study and his teammates, ruxolitinib or jakafi is the best available therapy that can treat myelofibrosis. Due to its adverse effects, it should be used in the supervision of the physician. Further studies are in progress to study the action of jakafi with other medicines. (1) (2)
Jakafi is the most effective remedy for myelofibrosis in the present day. It is the only approved medicine for myelofibrosis by FDA because of its significant role in the improvement of symptoms of the disorder with a remarkable decrease in the size of spleen and scarring of the bone marrow.