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QoL in MPN: physical, psychological, and social impacts

May 7, 2024
Learning objective: After reading this article, learners will be able to cite a new clinical development in MPN.

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During the course of disease and subsequent treatment many patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) report impacts on their quality of life (QoL). Previous studies have identified these impacts; however, there has been no comprehensive investigation in specific areas of patients’ life. Here, we summarize results from a survey investigating the physical, psychological, and social impacts of MPN by Eppingbroek et al.1 published in Psycho-oncology.  

Study design1

Patients with MPN were assessed for: 

  • MPN symptoms, using the MPN Symptom Assessment Form total symptom score (Figure 1); 
  • QoL, using the European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire; and 
  • Disease-related factors, from a questionnaire on diagnosis, disease status, treatment(s), adverse events, and comorbidities.

Figure 1. Hierarchical MPN patient QoL assessment model*

*Adapted from Eppingbroek AAM, et al.1
Functional scales.
Symptom scales.

 Key findings1  

  • Overall, 455 patients with MPN who had not received allo-SCT were recruited
  • Patients were invited to answer an online survey between November 2022 and February 2023
  • The mean age was 63.01 years
  • 63.7% of patients were female
  • 45.7% of patients were diagnosed with polycythemia vera, 17.1% with myelofibrosis, and 37.2% with essential thrombocytopenia 
  • Treatment options included ‘wait-and-see', phlebotomy, cytoreduction, and combined phlebotomy, and cytoreduction

Symptom burden and QoL1

  • Overall, 97.4% of patients reported symptoms.
  • European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire scores for the most highly scored impacts in each category are outlined in Table 1.

Table 1. EORTC QLQ-C30 assessment scores for MPN patients*


QoL impact

EORTC QLQ-C30 score








Cognitive function



Emotional function






Social and role function


EORTC QLQ-C30, European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire; MPN, myeloproliferative neoplasms.
Data from Eppingbroek, et al.1

  • In comparison with other cancers, patients with MPN reported fewer financial difficulties (9.9 vs 16.3) and appetite loss symptoms (10.8 vs 21.1); 48.8% of patients reported that MPN symptoms impacted on their work life. 
  • An increased number of reported adverse events correlated with a decrease in QoL.
    • The group of patients who reported symptoms impacting working life had higher symptom burden and lower QoL compared with patients who did not (58.1 vs 69.8).
  • MPN subtype and treatment option did not significantly change MPN symptom burden on QoL.

Key learnings

  • MPN negatively impacts several QoL domains. Fatigue and problems relating to cognitive function were the highest scoring factors.
  • Future research should investigate ways to relieve fatigue and reduced cognitive function in patients with MPN to improve their QoL.

  1. Eppingbroek AAM, Lechner L, Bakker EC, et al. The personal impact of living with myeloproliferative neoplasms. Psychooncology. 2024;33(4):e6338. DOI: 1002/pon.6338


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