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4348 JAK2 Kinase Fusion and Myeloid Involvement in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Session: 618. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemias: Biomarkers, Molecular Markers and Minimal Residual Disease in Diagnosis and Prognosis: Poster III
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
Research, Lymphoid Leukemias, ALL, Clinical Research, Diseases, real-world evidence, Lymphoid Malignancies, emerging technologies, Technology and Procedures, molecular testing
Monday, December 11, 2023, 6:00 PM-8:00 PM

Tong Wang, MD1,2*, Jingbo Ni3*, Xue Chen, MD1*, Panxiang Cao, MS1*, Jinan Tan3*, Hongwei Zhang3*, Jiangcheng Fang1*, Xinying Wei3*, Jiaqi Chen, PhD3,4,5*, Xiaoli Ma, MD1*, Yang Zhang, MD6*, Fang Wang, MD7*, Yan Zhang3*, Yan Dai3* and Hongxing Liu2,3

1Department of Laboratory Medicine, Hebei Yanda Lu Daopei Hospital, Langfang, China
2Beijing Lu Daopei Institute of Hematology, Beijing, China
3Hebei Yanda Lu Daopei Hospital, Langfang, China
4Department of Laboratory Medicine, Hebei Yanda Lu DaoPei Hospital, Langfang, China
5Molecular Medicine Center, Beijing Lu Daopei Institute of Hematology, Beijing, China
6Hebei Yanda Lu Daopei Hospital, Langfang, Hebei, China
7Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Division, Hebei Yanda Lu Daopei Hospital, Langfang, Hebei, China


JAK2 fusion genes (FGs) are rare but can be found in various phenotypes of myeloid or lymphoid malignancies. Both in the 5th edition of the World Health Organization Classification of Haematolymphoid Tumors (WHO-HAEM5, PMID: 35732831) and the International Consensus Classification (ICC, PMID: 35767897), JAK2-FGs were included in the diagnostic entity of myeloid/lymphoid neoplasms with eosinophilia and tyrosine kinase gene fusions (MLN-TK or MLN-eo), and both suggest MLN-TK/eo as a priority diagnostic entity. It is highlighted in ICC that cases presenting as acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) with M/LN-eo differ from de novo B-ALL and T-ALL in the involvement of myeloid cells. There is still a lack of research reports about how many JAK2-FG-positive ALL cases developed from M/LN-eo or had myeloid involvement.


A total of 21 ALL cases (Table 1) were enrolled in this study. The positive for JAK2-FGs were determined by G-banding karyotype analysis, transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq; PMID: 34135310), reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR), and interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization (I-FISH) with the JAK2 break-apart probe. Gene mutation analysis (PMID: 29932212) was also performed. According to whether there were FISH-JAK2 split signals in rod and lobed nuclear cells (Figure 1A), the cases were divided into My+ group (with myeloid involved) and My- group (without myeloid involved), respectively.


Among these cases, there were 14 males and 7 females (M:F = 2:1); 15 B-ALL and 6 T-ALL cases; the median age was 22 years old (range 5-55). All cases were positive for JAK2-FGs in RNA-seq analysis, and all FGs were verified by RT-PCR and Sanger sequencing. A total of 16 JAK2 partner genes were detected (Table 1, Figure 1B/C), of which FNBP1, CDK5RAP2, GTF2I, and C14orf 93 have not been reported previously. All cases retained the complete kinase domain of the JAK2 gene, and 13 cases retained part or all of the JAK2 pseudo-kinase domain in their JAK2-FGs. Karyotype abnormalities were detected in 17 cases (81%), with 9p24 involved in 10 cases (48%), abnormalities other than 9p24 were observed in 7 cases, and karyotype was normal in 4 patients. FISH-JAK2 inspection showed split signals in 20 cases and showed negative results in case #21 who with a complex karyotype abnormality.

Twelve cases (12/20=60%) showed JAK2 split signals in rotundum, rod, and lobed nuclei (Table 1, My+ group), suggesting both lymphoid and myeloid lineages were involved. We further investigated samples of 4 cases at the time of morphological complete remission after induction chemotherapy, of which the immunophenotype analysis was also negative for lymphoid blast cells. FISH-JAK2 inspection showed split signals accounting for 13%~79% of the nucleus, with split signals in the rod/lobed nucleus, and RT-PCR also confirmed abundant JAK2-FG transcripts in these samples.

There were 8 B-ALL and 4 T-ALL cases in the My+ group, of which 2 T-ALL cases were also positive for STIL::TAL1 fusion, and 3 cases experienced eosinophilia during the course of the disease (Table 1). The 5 cases whose JAK2 partner genes were lymphoid development-related transcription factors (ETV6, PAX5) were all in the My- group. All My- cases and #21 had no documented eosinophilia.

Among the 21 cases in this cohort, 13 had white blood cell (WBC) counts >50×109/L at diagnosis, and no significant hepatosplenomegaly. The total follow-up time was 2-89m, with a median overall survival (OS) time of 17m. Fourteen cases underwent allo-HSCT, and the median OS was 29.5m in the HSCT group and 9m in the non-HSCT group, respectively. The median OS was 15.5m in the My+ group and 29m in the My- group. The leukemia cells in these cases are prone to be in a high and rapid proliferation state, and they generally have a short OS and dismal prognosis.


Myeloid involvement accounted for 60% of JAK2-FG positive ALL and My+ cases had a worse prognosis and shorter OS than My- cases in this study. I-FISH inspection can be used as a method to determine whether there was myeloid involvement and provide valuable information for accurate analysis. The incidence of JAK2-FGs is low in ALL, but the fusion partners are diverse. This group of cases is more likely to have cryptic JAK2 translocations and with dismal prognosis. The phenotype of JAK2-FG malignancies is jointly determined by multiple factors under the influence of partner genes, accompanying fusion genes, and accompanying mutations.

Disclosures: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

*signifies non-member of ASH