Lymphomas arising from NK or γδ-T cells are very aggressive diseases and little is known regarding their pathogenesis. Here we report frequent activating mutations of STAT3 and STAT5B in NK/T-cell lymphomas (n=51), γδ-T-cell lymphomas (n=43) and their cell lines (n=9) through next generation and/or Sanger sequencing. STAT5B N642H is particularly frequent in all forms of γδ-T-cell lymphomas. STAT3 and STAT5B mutations are associated with increased phosphorylated protein and a growth advantage to transduced cell lines or normal NK cells. Growth-promoting activity of the mutants can be partially inhibited by a JAK1/2 inhibitor. Molecular modelling and surface plasmon resonance measurements of the N642H mutant indicate a marked increase in binding affinity of the phosphotyrosine-Y699 with the mutant histidine. This is associated with the prolonged persistence of the mutant phosphoSTAT5B and marked increase of binding to target sites. Our findings suggest that JAK-STAT pathway inhibition may represent a therapeutic strategy.