Peripheral T cell lymphomas (PTCL) is a heterogenous group of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and many patients remain refractory to the frontline therapy. Identifying new prognostic markers and treatment is an unmet need in PTCL. We analyzed phospho-STAT3 (pSTAT3) expression in a cohort of 169 PTCL tumors and show overall 38% positivity with varied distribution among PTCL subtypes with 27% (16/59) in PTCL-NOS; 29% (11/38) in AITL, 57% (13/28) in ALK-negative ALCL, and 93% in ALK-pos ALCL (14/15), respectively. Correlative analysis indicated an adverse correlation between pSTAT3 and overall survival (OS). PTPN6, a tyrosine phosphatase and potential negative regulator of STAT3 activity, was suppressed in 62% of PTCL-NOS, 42% of AITL, 60% ALK-neg ALCL, and 86% of ALK-pos ALCL. Loss of PTPN6 combined with pSTAT3 positivity predicted an infwere considered significantferior OS in PTCL cases. In vitro treatment of TCL lines with azacytidine (aza), a DNA methyltransferase inhibitor (DNMTi), restored PTPN6 expression and decreased pSTAT3. Combining DNMTi with JAK3 inhibitor resulted in synergistic antitumor activity in SUDHL1 cell line. Overall, our results suggest that PTPN6 and activated STAT3 can be developed as prognostic markers, and the combination of DNMTi and JAK3 inhibitors as a novel treatment for patients with PTCL subtypes.
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