Preceding myeloproliferative neoplasms in patients who develop new primary cancers may be predictors for poor outcomes, according to a recent study published in The Lancet Haematology.

Researchers led by Henrik Frederiksen, PhD, of Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark looked through population-based medical databases in Denmark from 1980 to 2011.

“Patients with chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms are at increased risk of new solid or hematological cancers, but how prognosis is affected in patients with preceding myeloproliferative neoplasms is unclear,” the authors noted.

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They matched 1,246 patients with a history of myeloproliferative neoplasms with 5,155 who didn’t have a history of myeloproliferative neoplasms, and measured outcomes by cancer stage and comorbidities.

The researchers found that among patients with new localized cancers, five-year survival was 49.8 percent for patients with preceding essential thrombocythemia, 47.9 percent for those with preceding polycythemia vera, and 48 percent for those with preceding chronic myeloid leukemia.

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This was compared to 72.4 percent, 63.0 percent, and 74.3 percent, respectively, in matched patients who didn’t have myeloproliferative neoplasms.

Risk of death in patients with both a solid tumor and preceding myeloproliferative neoplasm was 1.21 to 2.28 times higher than in those without myeloproliferative neoplasm.


  1. Frederiksen, Henrik, PhD, et al. “Survival of patients with chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms and new primary cancers: a population-based cohort study.” The Lancet Haematology. DOI: [epub ahead of print]. June 11, 2015.