DOI: 10.1111/ejh.14188 ISSN: 0902-4441

Neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio in myelofibrosis patients treated with ruxolitinib may predict prognosis and rate of discontinuation

Alessandro Laganà, Mauro Passucci, Sara Pepe, Emilia Scalzulli, Ida Carmosino, Alessandro Costa, Maria Laura Bisegna, Claudia Ielo, Maurizio Martelli, Massimo Breccia
  • Hematology
  • General Medicine



Myelofibrosis (MF) is a clonal Philadelphia chromosome negative myeloproliferative neoplasm (Ph‐MPN). MF is featured by an inflammatory condition that can also drive the progression of disease. Ruxolitinib (ruxo) is the‐first‐in‐class Jak1/2 inhibitor approved for treatment of MF, proved to reduce spleen volume and decrease symptom burden. In various malignancies neutrophil‐to‐lymphocyte ratio (NLR) has been indicated as predictor of progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). NLR might reflect the balance between systemic inflammation and immunity and is emerging as a prognostic biomarker in several neoplasms, including the hematological ones.


We analyzed a cohort of 140 MF patients treated with ruxo to validate baseline NLR (as a continuous variable and as a cut‐off 2) as predictor of OS and of ruxo treatment discontinuation.


We found that both baseline NLR as a continuous variable [HR 0.8 (95% CI: 0.7–0.9) (p = .006)] and NLR (<2 vs. ≥2) [HR 3.4 (95% CI: 1.6–7.0) (p = .001)] were significantly associated with OS. Censoring for patients undergone allotransplant, baseline NLR <2 was predictive of an earlier ruxo any‐other‐cause discontinuation [HR 3.7 (95%CI 1.7–8.3) (p < .001)].


NLR before starting ruxo treatment may be used as a simple and early predictor of OS and earlier ruxo discontinuation in clinical practice.

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