Myeloproliferative neoplasm historical perspective

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Mohamad Alkateb, MBBCh [2], Shyam Patel [3]


The first description of myeloproliferative neoplasm dates back to the late 19th century, when Sir Louis Vasquez studied a patient with excess red blood cells. Myeloproliferative neoplasm was first brought to attention as an important clinical entity by Dr. William Dameshek, an American hematologist, in 1951. In 2005, the link between the JAK2 mutation and polycythemia vera was discovered. The World Health Organization created diagnostic criteria for myeloproliferative neoplasms in 2008, and this was revised in 2016.

Historical Perspective

  • In 1903, Sir William Osler later described a group of patients with elevated red blood cell counts.[2]
  • In 1951, Sir William Dameshek, an American hematologist, discovered myeloproliferative neoplasms. Dr. Dameshek was a pioneer in the field and paved the way for future investigations into the details of this condition. He grouped a variety of conditions together and classified these individual conditions are myeloproliferative neoplasms.[3]
  • In 1967, Fialkow and colleagues showed evidence for clonally-derived myelopoiesis, based on studies showing the presence of the same G6PD polymorphism in erythrocytes and granulocytes. These studies suggested that one clone gave rise to multiple cell types.[1]
  • In 1976, Adamson and colleagues showed evidence for panmyeloid clonal expansion, meaning that a single clone could give rise to multiple lineages including erythrocytes, granulocytes, and megakaryocytes.[1]
  • In 2006, Pikman and colleagues found that the MPL W515L mutation was associated with myeloproliferative neoplasms.[10] It was noted that, in patients without the JAK2 V617F mutation, the MPL mutation served as the pathogenic stimulus for myeloproliferation via activation of JAK-STAT signaling.[10]
  • In 2008, the World Health Organization developed original criteria for the diagnosis of myeloproliferative neoplasm.[2]
  • In 2016, the World Health Organization developed a revision for the diagnostic criteria for myeloproliferative neoplasm.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Levine RL, Gilliland DG (2008). "Myeloproliferative disorders". Blood. 112 (6): 2190–8. doi:10.1182/blood-2008-03-077966. PMC 2962533. PMID 18779404.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Vannucchi AM (2017). "From leeches to personalized medicine: evolving concepts in the management of polycythemia vera". Haematologica. 102 (1): 18–29. doi:10.3324/haematol.2015.129155. PMC 5210229. PMID 27884974.
  3. Dameshek W (1951). "Some speculations on the myeloproliferative syndromes". Blood. 6 (4): 372–5. PMID 14820991.
  4. Levine RL, Wadleigh M, Cools J, Ebert BL, Wernig G, Huntly BJ; et al. (2005). "Activating mutation in the tyrosine kinase JAK2 in polycythemia vera, essential thrombocythemia, and myeloid metaplasia with myelofibrosis". Cancer Cell. 7 (4): 387–97. doi:10.1016/j.ccr.2005.03.023. PMID 15837627.
  5. Baxter EJ, Scott LM, Campbell PJ; et al. (2005). "Acquired mutation of the tyrosine kinase JAK2 in human myeloproliferative disorders". Lancet. 365: 1054–1061. PMID 15781101.
  6. James C, Ugo V, Le Couedic JP; et al. (2005). "A unique clonal JAK2 mutation leading to constitutive signalling causes polycythaemia vera". Nature. 434 (7037): 1144–1148. PMID 15793561.
  7. Levine RL, Wadleigh M, Cools J; et al. (2005). "Activating mutation in the tyrosine kinase JAK2 in polycythemia vera, essential thrombocythemia, and myeloid metaplasia with myelofibrosis". Cancer Cell. 7 (4): 387–397. PMID 15837627.
  8. Kralovics R, Passamonti F, Buser AS; et al. (2005). "A gain-of-function mutation of JAK2 in myeloproliferative disorders". N Engl J Med. 352 (17): 1779–1790. PMID 15858187.
  9. Campbell PJ, Scott LM, Buck G; et al. (2005). "Definition of subtypes of essential thrombocythaemia and relation to polycythaemia vera based on JAK2 V617F mutation status: a prospective study". Lancet. 366 (9501): 1945–1953. PMID 16325696.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Pikman Y, Lee BH, Mercher T, McDowell E, Ebert BL, Gozo M; et al. (2006). "MPLW515L is a novel somatic activating mutation in myelofibrosis with myeloid metaplasia". PLoS Med. 3 (7): e270. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0030270. PMC 1502153. PMID 16834459.
  11. Scott LM, Tong W, Levine RL, Scott MA, Beer PA, Stratton MR; et al. (2007). "JAK2 exon 12 mutations in polycythemia vera and idiopathic erythrocytosis". N Engl J Med. 356 (5): 459–68. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa065202. PMC 2873834. PMID 17267906.