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Breakpoint cluster region-Abelson (BCR-ABL) negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are chronic myeloid neoplasms initiated by the acquisition of gene mutation(s) in a haematopoietic stem cell, leading to clonal expansion and over-production of blood cells and their progenitors. MPNs encompass a spectrum of disorders with overlapping but distinct molecular, laboratory and clinical features. This includes polycythaemia vera, essential thrombocythaemia and myelofibrosis. Dysregulation of the immune system is key to the pathology of MPNs, supporting clonal evolution, mediating symptoms and resulting in varying degrees of immunocompromise. Targeting immune dysfunction is an important treatment strategy. In the present review, we focus on the immune landscape in patients with MPNs - the role of inflammation in disease pathogenesis, susceptibility to infection and emerging strategies for therapeutic immune modulation. Further detailed work is required to delineate immune perturbation more precisely in MPNs to determine how and why vulnerability to infection differs between clinical subtypes and to better understand how inflammation results in a competitive advantage for the MPN clone. These studies may help shed light on new designs for disease-modifying therapies.

Original publication




Journal article


British journal of haematology

Publication Date





1149 - 1158


MRC Molecular Haematology Unit, MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford.


Animals, Humans, Myeloproliferative Disorders, Inflammation, Fusion Proteins, bcr-abl, Immunotherapy, Immunity, Tumor Escape, Infections