Research ArticleCancer

Increased neutrophil extracellular trap formation promotes thrombosis in myeloproliferative neoplasms

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Science Translational Medicine  11 Apr 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 436, eaan8292
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aan8292

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A NET increase in thrombosis

Excessive thrombosis is a major cause of complications in cancer, including myeloproliferative neoplasms. Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) are structures formed from DNA expelled by activated neutrophils in infection, autoimmune disease, or cancer, and these can be associated with thrombosis. Wolach et al. discovered that increased activity of a protein called JAK2 is associated with NET formation in myeloproliferative neoplasms and that inhibiting it with ruxolitinib, a drug that targets JAK2, decreases thrombosis in a mouse model. Moreover, in a data set from more than 10,000 people without myeloproliferative neoplasms, detection of a clonal population of blood cells with overactive JAK2 correlated with a risk of thrombotic events, suggesting a broader relevance for this finding beyond the setting of cancer.