Chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms arise from clonal proliferation of hematopoietic stem cells. According to the World Health Organization myeloproliferative neoplasms are classified as: chronic myelogenous leukemia, polycythemia vera, essential thrombocythemia, primary myelofibrosis, chronic neutrophilic leukemia, chronic eosinophilic leukemia, hypereosinophilic syndrome, mast cell disease, and unclassifiable myeloproliferative neoplasms. In the revised 2008 WHO diagnostic criteria for myeloproliferative neoplasms, mutation screening for JAK2V617F is considered a major criterion for polycythemia vera diagnosis and also for essential thrombocythemia and primary myelofibrosis, the presence of this mutation represents a clonal marker. There are currently two hypotheses explaining the role of the JAK2V617F mutation in chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms. According to these theories, the mutation plays either a primary or secondary role in disease development. The discovery of the JAK2V617F mutation has been essential in understanding the genetic basis of chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms, providing some idea on how a single mutation can result in three different chronic myeloproliferative neoplasm phenotypes. But there are still some issues to be clarified. Thus, studies are still needed to determine specific molecular markers for each subtype of chronic myeloproliferative neoplasm.
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