JAK2 abnormalities may serve as target for precision medicines in pediatric B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL). In the current study we performed a screening for JAK2 mutations and translocations, analyzed the clinical outcome and studied the efficacy of two JAK inhibitors in primary BCP-ALL cells. Importantly, we identify a number of limitations of JAK inhibitor therapy. JAK2 mutations mainly occurred in the poor prognostic subtypes BCR-ABL1-like and non- BCR-ABL1-like B-other (negative for sentinel cytogenetic lesions). JAK2 translocations were restricted to BCR-ABL1-like cases. Momelotinib and ruxolitinib were cytotoxic in both JAK2 translocated and JAK2 mutated cells, although efficacy in JAK2 mutated cells highly depended on cytokine receptor activation by TSLP. However, our data also suggest that the effect of JAK inhibition may be compromised by mutations in alternative survival pathways and microenvironment-induced resistance. Furthermore, inhibitors induced accumulation of phosphorylated JAK2Y1007, which resulted in a profound re-activation of JAK2 signaling upon release of the inhibitors. This preclinical evidence implies that further optimization and evaluation of JAK inhibitor treatment is necessary prior to its clinical integration in pediatric BCP-ALL.
- B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia
- JAK inhibitors
- Targeted therapies