RAS/CBL mutations predict resistance to JAK inhibitors in myelofibrosis and are associated with poor prognostic features

Blood Adv. 2020 Aug 11;4(15):3677-3687. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2020002175.


The dysregulation of the JAK/STAT pathway drives the pathogenesis of myelofibrosis (MF). Recently, several JAK inhibitors (JAKis) have been developed for treating MF. Select mutations (MTs) have been associated with impaired outcomes and are currently incorporated in molecularly annotated prognostic models. Mutations of RAS/MAPK pathway genes are frequently reported in cancer and at low frequencies in MF. In this study, we investigated the phenotypic, prognostic, and therapeutic implications of NRASMTs, KRASMTs, and CBLMTs (RAS/CBLMTs) in 464 consecutive MF patients. A total of 59 (12.7%) patients had RAS/CBLMTs: NRASMTs, n = 25 (5.4%); KRASMTs, n = 13 (2.8%); and CBLMTs, n = 26 (5.6%). Patients with RAS/CBLMTs were more likely to present with high-risk clinical and molecular features. RAS/CBLMTs were associated with inferior overall survival compared with patients without MTs and retained significance in a multivariate model, including the Mutation-Enhanced International Prognostic Score System (MIPSS70) risk factors and cytogenetics; however, inclusion of RAS/CBLMTs in molecularly annotated prognostic models did not improve the predictive power of the latter. The 5-year cumulative incidence of leukemic transformation was notably higher in the RAS/CBLMT cohort. Among 61 patients treated with JAKis and observed for a median time of 30 months, the rate of symptoms and spleen response at 6 months was significantly lower in the RAS/CBLMT cohort. Logistic regression analysis disclosed a significant inverse correlation between RAS/CBLMTs and the probability of achieving a symptom or spleen response that was retained in multivariate analysis. In summary, our study showed that RAS/CBLMTs are associated with adverse phenotypic features and survival outcomes and, more important, may predict reduced response to JAKis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Genes, ras
  • Humans
  • Janus Kinase Inhibitors*
  • Mutation
  • Primary Myelofibrosis* / diagnosis
  • Primary Myelofibrosis* / drug therapy
  • Primary Myelofibrosis* / genetics
  • Prognosis


  • Janus Kinase Inhibitors