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Blood. 2010 Apr 8;115(14):2891-900. doi: 10.1182/blood-2009-08-236596. Epub 2009 Dec 11.

Two routes to leukemic transformation after a JAK2 mutation-positive myeloproliferative neoplasm.

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Department of Haematology, Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, Cambridge, UK.


Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) may follow a JAK2-positive myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN), although the mechanisms of disease evolution, often involving loss of mutant JAK2, remain obscure. We studied 16 patients with JAK2-mutant (7 of 16) or JAK2 wild-type (9 of 16) AML after a JAK2-mutant MPN. Primary myelofibrosis or myelofibrotic transformation preceded all 7 JAK2-mutant but only 1 of 9 JAK2 wild-type AMLs (P = .001), implying that JAK2-mutant AML is preceded by mutation(s) that give rise to a "myelofibrosis" phenotype. Loss of the JAK2 mutation by mitotic recombination, gene conversion, or deletion was excluded in all wild-type AMLs. A search for additional mutations identified alterations of RUNX1, WT1, TP53, CBL, NRAS, and TET2, without significant differences between JAK2-mutant and wild-type leukemias. In 4 patients, mutations in TP53, CBL, or TET2 were present in JAK2 wild-type leukemic blasts but absent from the JAK2-mutant MPN. By contrast in a chronic-phase patient, clones harboring mutations in JAK2 or MPL represented the progeny of a shared TET2-mutant ancestral clone. These results indicate that different pathogenetic mechanisms underlie transformation to JAK2 wild-type and JAK2-mutant AML, show that TET2 mutations may be present in a clone distinct from that harboring a JAK2 mutation, and emphasize the clonal heterogeneity of the MPNs.

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