Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)/myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) overlap syndromes are unique myeloid neoplasms, with overlapping features of MDS and MPN. They consist of four adult onset entities including chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML), MDS/MPN-ring sideroblasts-thrombocytosis (MDS/MPN-RS-T), BCR-ABL1 negative atypical chronic myeloid leukemia (aCML) and MDS/MPN-unclassifiable (MDS/MPN-U); with juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML) being the only pediatric onset entity. Among these overlap neoplasms, CMML is the most frequent and is hallmarked by the presence of sustained peripheral blood monocytosis with recurrent mutations involving TET2 (60%), SRSF2 (50%) and ASXL1 (40%); with RAS pathway mutations and JAK2V617F being relatively enriched in proliferative CMML subtypes (WBC ≥13 × 109/L). CMML usually presents in the 7th decade of life, with a male preponderance and is associated with a median overall survival of <36 months. Adverse prognosticators in CMML include increasing age, high WBC, presence of circulating immature myeloid cells, anemia, thrombocytopenia and truncating ASXL1 mutations. While allogeneic stem cell transplantation remains the only curative option, given the late onset of this neoplasm and high frequency of comorbidities, most patients remain ineligible. Hypomethylating agents such as azacitidine, decitabine and oral decitabine/cedazuridine have been US FDA approved for the management of CMML, with overall response rates of 40-50% and complete remission rates of <20%. While these agents epigenetically restore hematopoiesis in a subset of responding patients, they do not impact mutational allele burdens and eventual disease progression to AML remains inevitable. Newer treatment modalities exploiting epigenetic, signaling and splicing abnormalities commonly seen in CMML are much needed.
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