A Randomized, Phase 3, Trial of Interferon-α versus Hydroxyurea in Polycythemia Vera and Essential Thrombocythemia.
Mascarenhas J., Kosiorek HE., Prchal JT., Rambaldi A., Berenzon D., Yacoub A., Harrison CN., McMullin MFF., Vannucchi AM., Ewing J., O'Connell CL., Kiladjian J-J., Mead AJ., Winton EF., Leibowitz DS., De Stefano V., Arcasoy MO., Kessler CM., Catchatourian R., Rondelli D., Silver RT., Bacigalupo A., Nagler A., Kremyanskaya M., Levine MF., Arango Ossa JE., McGovern EM., Sandy L., Salama ME., Najfeld V., Tripodi J., Farnoud N., Penson AV., Weinberg RS., Price L., Goldberg JD., Barbui T., Marchioli R., Tognoni G., Rampal RK., Mesa RA., Dueck AC., Hoffman R.
The goal of therapy for essential thrombocythemia (ET) and polycythemia vera (PV) patients is to reduce thrombotic events by normalizing blood counts. Hydroxyurea (HU) and interferon-α (IFN-α) are the most frequently used cytoreductive options for ET and PV patients at high-risk for vascular complications. Myeloproliferative Disorders Research Consortium 112 was an investigator-initiated, phase 3 trial comparing HU to pegylated IFN-α (PEG) in treatment naïve, high-risk ET/PV patients. The primary endpoint was complete response (CR) rate at 12 months. A total of 168 patients were treated for a median of 81.0 weeks. CR for HU was 37% and 35% for PEG (p=0.80) at 12 months. At 24/36 months, CR was 20%/17% for HU and 29%/33% for PEG. PEG led to a greater reduction in JAK2V617F at 24 months, but histopathologic responses were more frequent with HU. Thrombotic events and disease progression were infrequent in both arms, while grade 3/4 adverse events were more frequent with PEG (46% vs. 28%). At 12 months of treatment there was no significant difference in CR rates between HU and PEG. This study indicates that PEG and HU are both effective treatments for PV and ET. With longer treatment PEG was more effective in normalizing blood counts and reducing driver mutation burden, while HU produced more histopathologic responses. Despite these differences, both agents did not differ in limiting thrombotic events and disease progression in high-risk ET/PV patients. (Funded by the National Cancer Institute, 5P01CA108671-09; clinicaltrials.gov number (NCT01259856).