Monocytosis can develop during disease course in primary myelofibrosis simulating that seen in chronic myelomonocytic leukemia, and should not lead to disease reclassification. In contrast, at presentation, rare cases have clinical, morphologic, and molecular genetic features truly intermediate between primary myelofibrosis and chronic myelomonocytic leukemia. The taxonomy and natural history of these diseases are unclear. We identified cases which either: (1) fulfilled the 2008 World Health Organization criteria for primary myelofibrosis but had absolute monocytosis and, when available, chronic myelomonocytic leukemia-related mutations (ASXL1, SRSF2, TET2) or (2) fulfilled criteria of chronic myelomonocytic leukemia but had megakaryocytic proliferation and atypia, marrow fibrosis, and myeloproliferative-type driver mutations (JAK2, MPL, CALR). Patients with established primary myelofibrosis who developed monocytosis and those with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia with marrow fibrosis were excluded. By combining the pathology databases of two large institutions, six eligible cases were identified. Patients were predominantly male and elderly with monocytosis at diagnosis (average 17.5%/2.3 × 10 3 /μl), organomegaly, primary myelofibrosis-like atypical megakaryocytes admixed with a variable number of chronic myelomonocytic leukemia-like hypolobated forms, variable myelodysplasia, marrow fibrosis and osteosclerosis. All had a normal karyotype and no myelodysplasia-associated cytogenetic abnormalities. Five of the patients in whom a more extensive molecular characterization was performed showed co-mutations involving JAK2 or MPL and ASXL1, SRSF2, TET2, NRAS, and/or KRAS. Disease progression has occurred in all and two have died. Rare patients present with features that overlap between primary myelofibrosis and chronic myelomonocytic leukemia and are thus difficult to classify based on current World Health Organization criteria. Biologically, these cases likely represent primary myelofibrosis with monocytosis, dysplasia, and secondary (non-driver) mutations at presentation. Alternatively, they may represent a true gray zone of neoplasms. Their clinical behavior appears aggressive and innovative therapeutic approaches may be beneficial in this particular subset.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine