Primary Myelofibrosis: Update on definition, pathogenesis, and treatment
Primary myelofibrosis (PMF) is a clonal stem cell disorder that manifests clinically as anemia, splenomegaly due to extramedullary hematopoiesis, leukoerythroblastosis, and constitutional symptoms, which are the clinical hallmarks of PMF. Within the past three years it has been determined that a single, recurrent, somatic mutation in the gene encoding the cytoplasmic tyrosine kinase Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) occurs in the majority of patients with PMF, and more recently, activating mutations in the gene encoding the thrombopoietin receptor MPL have also been identified in a subset of PMF patients. These discoveries have yielded important insights into the pathogenesis of PMF and have brought about the first opportunity for rationally targeted therapy for this disorder. Here we present an updated review of the pathogenesis, definition, and treatment of PMF in light of the discovery of JAK2 and MPL mutations, as well as other recent work in the myeloproliferative neoplasm field.