Splicing factor and TP53 mutations identify ET patients at very high risk of disease progression
Ruxolitinib treatment does not reduce transformation risk in molecularly distinct subgroups
Essential Thrombocythemia (ET) patients at high-risk of thrombosis require cytoreductive treatment, typically with hydroxycarbamide. Many patients are resistant or intolerant to hydroxycarbamide (HC-RES/INT) and are at increased risk of disease progression. MAJIC-ET is a randomized phase 2 study comparing ruxolitinib (RUX) to best available therapy (BAT) in HC-RES/INT ET, which showed no difference between the two arms in rates of hematological response or disease progression. The impact of additional non-MPN driver mutations (NDM) on the risk of disease complications in HC-RES/INT ET patients is unknown. Since the presence of NDM may influence trial outcomes, we expand the primary MAJIC-ET analysis to serially evaluate NDM in MAJIC-ET patients using a targeted myeloid 32-gene panel. NDM at baseline were detected in 30% of patients, most frequently affecting TET2 (11%) followed by TP53 (6.4%) and SF3B1 (6.4%). The presence of a NDM was associated with inferior 4-year transformation-free survival (TFS; 65.4% [95% CI 53.3 - 75%] vs. 82.8% [95% CI 73.2 - 89.1%], p=0.017). Specifically, TP53 (p=0.01) and splicing factor (SF, SF3B1, ZRSR2, SRSF2; p<0.001), but not TET2 mutations were associated with reduced TFS which was not mitigated by RUX treatment. Longitudinal analysis identified new mutations in 19.3% of patients; primarily affecting TET2, TP53 and SF3B1. We report the first comprehensive mutational analysis of HC-RES/INT ET patients and highlight the clinical/prognostic utility of serial mutation analysis for NDM in HC-RES/INT ET, including the importance of SF and TP53 mutations which identify HC-RES/INT ET patients at increased risk of disease transformation.