Previous studies have suggested an important role for the Janus kinase-signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK-STAT) signalling pathway in tumour development. Therefore, we explored genetic variants in JAK-STAT pathway associated genes with lymphoma risk. In samples of the EpiLymph case-control study we genotyped 1536 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) using GoldenGate BeadArray™ Technology (Illumina, San Diego, CA, USA). Here, we report the associations between selected SNPs and haplotypes of the JAK-STAT pathway and risk of Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL) and most frequent B-NHL subtypes. Among 210 relevant JAK-STAT pathway-related SNPs, polymorphisms in nine genes (BMF, IFNG, IL12A, SOCS1, STAT1, STAT3, STAT5A, STAT6, TP63) were significantly associated with lymphoma risk. At a study-wise significance level, we obtained a risk reduction of 28% among carriers of the heterozygous genotype of the STAT3 variant (rs1053023) for B-NHL. For six other variants within the STAT3 gene we observed an inverse association with different lymphoma subtypes. A reduced risk for HL was observed for the heterozygous genotype of the STAT6 SNP (rs324011). This is an explorative investigation to examine associations between JAK-STAT signalling related genes and lymphoma risk. The results implicate a relevant role of certain pathway-related genes in lymphomagenesis, but still need to be approved by independent studies. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.