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Chronic neutrophilic leukemia: new science and new diagnostic criteria.

Blood Cancer Journal 2018 Februrary 14
Chronic neutrophilic leukemia (CNL) is a distinct myeloproliferative neoplasm defined by persistent, predominantly mature neutrophil proliferation, marrow granulocyte hyperplasia, and frequent splenomegaly. The seminal discovery of oncogenic driver mutations in CSF3R in the majority of patients with CNL in 2013 generated a new scientific framework for this disease as it deepened our understanding of its molecular pathogenesis, provided a biomarker for diagnosis, and rationalized management using novel targeted therapies. Consequently, in 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) revised the diagnostic criteria for CNL to reflect such changes in its genomic landscape, now including the presence of disease-defining activating CSF3R mutations as a key diagnostic component of CNL. In this communication, we provide a background on the history of CNL, its clinical and hemopathologic features, and its molecular anatomy, including relevant additional genetic lesions and their significance. We also outline the recently updated WHO diagnostic criteria for CNL. Further, the natural history of the disease is reviewed as well as potential prognostic variables. Finally, we summarize and discuss current treatment options as well as prospective novel therapeutic targets in hopes that they will yield meaningful improvements in patient management and outcomes.

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