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Haematologica. 2013 Mar;98(3):404-8. doi: 10.3324/haematol.2012.067959. Epub 2012 Aug 8.

Ruxolitinib as potential targeted therapy for patients with JAK2 rearrangements.

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  • 1Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.


JAK2 fusion genes are rare but recurrent abnormalities associated with diverse, clinically heterogeneous hematologic malignancies. Here we assess the JAK1/2 inhibitor ruxolitinib as therapy for patients with JAK2-rearrangement associated myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN). Ruxolitinib-treated Ba/F3 cells transformed to IL3 independence by ETV6-JAK2 showed reduced proliferation and survival (IC(50) = 370 nM) compared with KG1A or Ba/F3 cells transformed by BCR-ABL1, SPBN1-FLT3 and ZMYM2-FGFR1 (IC(50) > 10 μM for all). Inhibition was associated with reduced phosphorylation of ETV6-JAK2, ERK, STAT5 and AKT. Primary cell growth from 2 patients with JAK2 rearrangement and one patient with JAK2 amplification was assessed in methylcellulose assays. Reduced colony growth was seen for all patients in ruxolitinib-treated cultures compared with healthy controls (n=7). Fluorescence in situ hybridization showed reduced growth of JAK2-rearrangement positive colonies compared to JAK2-rearrangement negative colonies. Our data, therefore, provide evidence that ruxolitinib is a promising therapy for treatment of patients with JAK2 fusion genes.

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