Inhibition of Janus-kinase 1/2 (JAK1/2) is a mainstay to treat myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN). Sporadic observations reported the co-incidence of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas during treatment of MPN with JAK1/2 inhibitors. We assessed 626 patients with MPN, including 69 with myelofibrosis receiving JAK1/2 inhibitors for lymphoma development. B-cell lymphomas evolved in 4 (5.8%) of 69 patients receiving JAK1/2 inhibition compared with 2 (0.36%) of 557 with conventional treatment (16-fold increased risk). A similar 15-fold increase was observed in an independent cohort of 929 patients with MPN. Considering primary myelofibrosis only (N = 216), 3 lymphomas were observed in 31 inhibitor-treated patients (9.7%) vs 1 (0.54%) of 185 control patients. Lymphomas were of aggressive B-cell type, extranodal, or leukemic with high MYC expression in the absence of JAK2 V617F or other MPN-associated mutations. Median time from initiation of inhibitor therapy to lymphoma diagnosis was 25 months. Clonal immunoglobulin gene rearrangements were already detected in the bone marrow during myelofibrosis in 16.3% of patients. Lymphomas occurring during JAK1/2 inhibitor treatment were preceded by a preexisting B-cell clone in all 3 patients tested. Sequencing verified clonal identity in 2 patients. The effects of JAK1/2 inhibition were mirrored in Stat1 –/– mice: 16 of 24 mice developed a spontaneous myeloid hyperplasia with the concomitant presence of aberrant B cells. Transplantations of bone marrow from diseased mice unmasked the outgrowth of a malignant B-cell clone evolving into aggressive B-cell leukemia-lymphoma. We conclude that JAK/STAT1 pathway inhibition in myelofibrosis is associated with an elevated frequency of aggressive B-cell lymphomas. Detection of a preexisting B-cell clone may identify individuals at risk.
Free Research Articles, Myeloid Neoplasia, Lymphoid Neoplasia, Clinical Trials and Observations