Researchers have devised a tool to accurately assess the extent of symptoms in patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs).
The MPN Symptom Assessment Form total symptom score (MPN-SAF TSS) is an efficient, sensitive, and reliable method for symptom assessment in patients with essential thrombocythemia (ET), polycythemia vera (PV), or myelofibrosis, say Ruben Mesa (Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA) and co-authors.
"This instrument carries the potential to evaluate response to treatment and track disease progression," they write in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
"With utility extending to both trial and clinical practice settings, we believe the MPN-SAF TSS will prove to be an indispensable resource as we enter this new era of gene-targeted therapies."
The team combined items from two validated scoring systems to focus on the most clinically pertinent symptoms of fatigue, concentration, early satiety, inactivity, night sweats, itching, bone pain, abdominal discomfort, weight loss, and fever.
When applied to 1433 MPN patients from Europe and North and South America, an MPN-SAF TSS score was calculable for 1408 patients. The average score was 21.2 points out of a possible 100 points, and significantly differed between patients with ET (18.7), PV (21.8), and myelofibrosis (25.3).
Bone pain, weight loss, and fever were the only items where the majority of patients did not have a symptom. Fatigue was the most intense symptom experienced, followed by concentration and early satiety.
Overall, 35% of patients had scores indicating a clinically deficient quality of life, affecting 42% of myelofibrosis patients compared with 30% of ET and 38% of PV patients.
Scores for MPN significantly correlated with scores for patient reports of quality of life. There was a significant correlation between the MPN-SAF TSS and the functional scales of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire C30, as well as strong correlations for pain and fatigue scales.
The MPN-SAF TSS also showed "excellent" internal consistency, the team adds.
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