JOURNAL ARTICLE

Genotype-phenotype and outcome associations in patients with Fanconi anemia: The National Cancer Institute cohort

Burak Altintas, Neelam Giri, Lisa J McReynolds, Ana Best, Blanche P Alter
Haematologica 2022 April 14
35417938
Fanconi anemia (FA) is caused by pathogenic variants in the FA/BRCA DNA repair pathway genes, and is characterized by congenital abnormalities, bone marrow failure (BMF) and increased cancer risk. We conducted a genotype-phenotype and outcomes study of 203 patients with FA in our cohort. We compared across the genes, FA/BRCA DNA repair pathways (upstream, ID complex and downstream), and type of pathogenic variants (hypomorphic or null). We explored differences between the patients evaluated in our clinic (clinic cohort) and those who provided data remotely (field cohort). Patients with variants in upstream complex pathway had less severe phenotype [lacked VACTERL-H (Vertebral, Anal, Cardiac, Trachea-esophageal fistula, Esophageal/duodenal atresia, Renal, Limb, Hydrocephalus) association and/or PHENOS (Pigmentation, small-Head, small-Eyes, Neurologic, Otologic, Short stature) features]. ID complex was associated with VACTERL-H. The clinic cohort had more PHENOS features than the field cohort. PHENOS was associated with increased risk of BMF, and VACTERL-H with hypothyroidism. The cumulative incidence of severe BMF was 70%, solid tumors (ST) 20% and leukemia 6.5% as the first event. Head and neck and gynecological cancers were the most common ST, with further increased risk after hematopoietic cell transplantation. Among patients with FANCA, variants in exons 27-30 were associated with higher frequency of ST. Overall median survival was 37 years; patients with leukemia or FANCD1/BRCA2 variants had poorest survival. Patients with variants in the upstream complex had better survival than ID or downstream complex (p=0.001 and 0.016, respectively). FA is phenotypically and genotypically heterogeneous; detailed characterization provides new insights towards understanding this complex syndrome and guiding clinical management.

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