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Aplastic Anaemia

Anaplastic Anemia is not a cancer. AA is a rare disease in which the bone marrow is unable to produce adequate blood cells; leading to pancytopenia (deficiency of all types of blood cells). AA may occur at any age, but there is a peak in adolescence / early adulthood, and again in old age. Slightly more males than females are diagnosed with AA, also the disease is more common in the Far East. Patients successfully treated for aplastic anemia have a higher risk of developing other diseases later in life, including cancer.

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Fanconi Anaemia

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    MeSH term: Anemia, Aplastic
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Latest Research Publications

This list of publications is regularly updated (Source: PubMed).

Owattanapanich W, Auewarakul CU
Intracranial Hemorrhage in Patients with Hematologic Disorders: Prevalence and Predictive Factors.
J Med Assoc Thai. 2016; 99(1):15-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) is an uncommon complication in patients with hematologic disorders although high fatality rates have been shown in these patients. At present, no epidemiological data regarding ICH in patients with hematologic disorders has been collected and/or reported in Thailand.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence of ICH in hospitalized patients with hematologic disorders and to identify predictive factors associated with ICH in these patients.
MATERIAL AND METHOD: The medical records of all patients with hematologic disorders admitted to Siriraj Hospital (Bangkok, Thailand) between January 2002 and September 2011 were reviewed. Patients with ICH were identified and factors associated with ICH were investigated using a retrospective case-control design.
RESULTS: Of 9,62 patients identified with hematologic disorders, ICH was diagnosed in 106 (1.1%). The ICH rate was higher in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients than in patients with other hematologic malignancies (4.29% vs. 0.78%; p<0. 001) and higher in aplastic anemia (AA) patients than in patients with other benign hematologic disorders (4.00% vs. 0.97%; p<0.001). Cortical hemorrhage was the main presentation in all hematologic disorders, with a single lesion in the parietal area as the most common site. The overall mortality rate was 85% with most patients succumbing within two days of onset. The independent predictors of ICH were hyperleukocytosis and a low platelet count in AML patients, and ecchymosis, upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage, hematuria, and a low platelet count in AA patients.
CONCLUSION: AML and AA patients had the highest risk of ICH compared with other hematologic disorders and several predictive factors for ICH were identified.

Brégnard C, Guerra J, Déjardin S, et al.
Upregulated LINE-1 Activity in the Fanconi Anemia Cancer Susceptibility Syndrome Leads to Spontaneous Pro-inflammatory Cytokine Production.
EBioMedicine. 2016; 8:184-94 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Fanconi Anemia (FA) is a genetic disorder characterized by elevated cancer susceptibility and pro-inflammatory cytokine production. Using SLX4(FANCP) deficiency as a working model, we questioned the trigger for chronic inflammation in FA. We found that absence of SLX4 caused cytoplasmic DNA accumulation, including sequences deriving from active Long INterspersed Element-1 (LINE-1), triggering the cGAS-STING pathway to elicit interferon (IFN) expression. In agreement, absence of SLX4 leads to upregulated LINE-1 retrotransposition. Importantly, similar results were obtained with the FANCD2 upstream activator of SLX4. Furthermore, treatment of FA cells with the Tenofovir reverse transcriptase inhibitor (RTi), that prevents endogenous retrotransposition, decreased both accumulation of cytoplasmic DNA and pro-inflammatory signaling. Collectively, our data suggest a contribution of endogenous RT activities to the generation of immunogenic cytoplasmic nucleic acids responsible for inflammation in FA. The additional observation that RTi decreased pro-inflammatory cytokine production induced by DNA replication stress-inducing drugs further demonstrates the contribution of endogenous RTs to sustaining chronic inflammation. Altogether, our data open perspectives in the prevention of adverse effects of chronic inflammation in tumorigenesis.

Vandraas K, Tjønnfjord GE, Johannesen TB, Brandal P
Persistent bone marrow depression following short-term treatment with temozolomide.
BMJ Case Rep. 2016; 2016 [PubMed] Related Publications
Temozolomide (TMZ) is, in combination with radiotherapy (RT), the treatment of choice for glioblastoma multiforme. Although generally well tolerated, haematological side effects are observed in approximately 1-10% of patients receiving TMZ. We report a case of a patient who developed severe bone marrow failure (BMF) after only 3 weeks of concomitant TMZ. The BMF was grave with no signs of improvement for 12 months, resulting in more than 100 transfusions of blood cells.

Tofas P, Skiada A, Angelopoulou M, et al.
Carbapenemase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae bloodstream infections in neutropenic patients with haematological malignancies or aplastic anaemia: Analysis of 50 cases.
Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2016; 47(4):335-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Carbapenemase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (CP-Kp) are currently among the most important nosocomial pathogens in many geographic regions. A retrospective study was conducted between 2010 and 2014 in four hospitals located in a high-prevalence area (Athens, Greece) to describe the clinical features, treatment and outcomes of neutropenic patients with haematological diseases complicated with CP-Kp bloodstream infections. A total of 50 patients were identified, including 48 with haematological malignancies and 2 with aplastic anaemia. All patients had neutropenia (<500 cells/mm(3)), of whom 40 had <100 neutrophils/mm(3). The probable source of bacteraemia was identified in 9 patients; in the remaining 41 patients the bacteraemia was considered primary. For definitive treatment, 30 patients received combination therapy (two or more active drugs), 10 received monotherapy (one active drug) and 4 received therapy with no active drug; the remaining 6 patients died within 48 h after the onset of bacteraemia. The 14-day all-cause mortality rate was 50%, 38% and 33% for those who received one, two or three active drugs respectively. In the Cox proportional hazards model, unresolved neutropenia [hazard ratio (HR)=19.28, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.31-160.69; P=0.006], septic shock (HR=3.04, 95% CI 1.06-8.78; P=0.04) and treatment with one active drug (HR for monotherapy versus combination therapy=3.95, 95% CI 1.23-12.65; P=0.02) were independent predictors of death, whilst combination therapy was associated with lower mortality. These findings may assist physicians in making treatment decisions for neutropenic patients with CP-Kp infections.

Byrd PJ, Stewart GS, Smith A, et al.
A Hypomorphic PALB2 Allele Gives Rise to an Unusual Form of FA-N Associated with Lymphoid Tumour Development.
PLoS Genet. 2016; 12(3):e1005945 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Patients with biallelic truncating mutations in PALB2 have a severe form of Fanconi anaemia (FA-N), with a predisposition for developing embryonal-type tumours in infancy. Here we describe two unusual patients from a single family, carrying biallelic PALB2 mutations, one truncating, c.1676_1677delAAinsG;(p.Gln559ArgfsTer2), and the second, c.2586+1G>A; p.Thr839_Lys862del resulting in an in frame skip of exon 6 (24 amino acids). Strikingly, the affected individuals did not exhibit the severe developmental defects typical of FA-N patients and initially presented with B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The expressed p.Thr839_Lys862del mutant PALB2 protein retained the ability to interact with BRCA2, previously unreported in FA-N patients. There was also a large increased chromosomal radiosensitivity following irradiation in G2 and increased sensitivity to mitomycin C. Although patient cells were unable to form Rad51 foci following exposure to either DNA damaging agent, U2OS cells, in which the mutant PALB2 with in frame skip of exon 6 was induced, did show recruitment of Rad51 to foci following damage. We conclude that a very mild form of FA-N exists arising from a hypomorphic PALB2 allele.

Villalona-Calero MA, Duan W, Zhao W, et al.
Veliparib Alone or in Combination with Mitomycin C in Patients with Solid Tumors With Functional Deficiency in Homologous Recombination Repair.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2016; 108(7) [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: BRCA germline mutations are being targeted for development of PARP inhibitors. BRCA genes collaborate with several others in the Fanconi Anemia (FA) pathway. We screened cancer patients' tumors for FA functional defects then aimed to establish the safety/feasibility of administering PARP inhibitors as monotherapy and combined with a DNA-breaking agent.
METHODS: Patients underwent FA functional screening for the presence (or lack) of tumor FancD2 nuclear foci formation on their archival tumor material, utilizing a newly developed method (Fanconi Anemia triple-stain immunofluorescence [FATSI]), performed in a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments-certified laboratory. FATSI-negative patients were selected for enrollment in a two-arm dose escalation trial of veliparib, or veliparib/mitomycin-C (MMC).
RESULTS: One hundred eighty-five of 643 (28.7%) screened patients were FATSI-negative. Sixty-one received veliparib or veliparib/MMC through 14 dose levels. Moderate/severe toxicities included fatigue (DLT at veliparib 400mg BID), diarrhea, and thrombocytopenia. Recommended doses are 300mg BID veliparib and veliparib 200mg BID for 21 days following 10mg/m(2) MMC every 28 days. Six antitumor responses occurred, five in the combination arm (3 breast, 1 ovarian, 1 endometrial [uterine], and 1 non-small cell lung cancer). Two patients have received 36 and 60 cycles to date. BRCA germline analysis among 51 patients revealed five deleterious mutations while a targeted FA sequencing gene panel showed missense/nonsense mutations in 29 of 49 FATSI-negative tumor specimens.
CONCLUSIONS: FATSI screening showed that a substantial number of patients' tumors have FA functional deficiency, which led to germline alterations in several patients' tumors. Veliparib alone or with MMC was safely administered to these patients and produced clinical benefit in some. However, a better understanding of resistance mechanisms in this setting is needed.

Morishima S, Kashiwase K, Matsuo K, et al.
High-risk HLA alleles for severe acute graft-versus-host disease and mortality in unrelated donor bone marrow transplantation.
Haematologica. 2016; 101(4):491-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2017 Related Publications
HLA molecules play an important role for immunoreactivity in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. To elucidate the effect of specific HLA alleles on acute graft-versus-host disease, we conducted a retrospective analysis using 6967 Japanese patients transplanted with T-cell-replete marrow from an unrelated donor. Using unbiased searches of patient and donor HLA alleles, patient and/or donor HLA-B*51:01 (patient: HR, 1.37,P<0.001; donor: HR, 1.35,P<0.001) and patient HLA-C*14:02 (HR, 1.35,P<0.001) were significantly associated with an increased risk of severe acute graft-versus-host disease. The finding that donor HLA-C*14:02 was not associated with severe acute graft-versus-host disease prompted us to elucidate the relation of these high-risk HLA alleles with patient and donor HLA-C allele mismatches. In comparison to HLA-C allele match, patient mismatched HLA-C*14:02 showed the highest risk of severe acute graft-versus-host disease (HR, 3.61,P<0.001) and transplant-related mortality (HR, 2.53,P<0.001) among all patient mismatched HLA-C alleles. Although patient HLA-C*14:02 and donor HLA-C*15:02 mismatch was usually KIR2DL-ligand mismatch in the graft-versus-host direction, the risk of patient mismatched HLA-C*14:02 for severe acute graft-versus-host disease was obvious regardless of KIR2DL-ligand matching. The effect of patient and/or donor HLA-B*51:01 on acute graft-versus-host disease was attributed not only to strong linkage disequilibrium of HLA-C*14:02 and -B*51:01, but also to the effect of HLA-B*51:01 itself. With regard to clinical implications, patient mismatched HLA-C*14:02 proved to be a potent risk factor for severe acute graft-versus-host disease and mortality, and should be considered a non-permissive HLA-C mismatch in donor selection for unrelated donor hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Matsuzaki K, Borel V, Adelman CA, et al.
FANCJ suppresses microsatellite instability and lymphomagenesis independent of the Fanconi anemia pathway.
Genes Dev. 2015; 29(24):2532-46 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2017 Related Publications
Microsatellites are short tandem repeat sequences that are highly prone to expansion/contraction due to their propensity to form non-B-form DNA structures, which hinder DNA polymerases and provoke template slippage. Although error correction by mismatch repair plays a key role in preventing microsatellite instability (MSI), which is a hallmark of Lynch syndrome, activities must also exist that unwind secondary structures to facilitate replication fidelity. Here, we report that Fancj helicase-deficient mice, while phenotypically resembling Fanconi anemia (FA), are also hypersensitive to replication inhibitors and predisposed to lymphoma. Whereas metabolism of G4-DNA structures is largely unaffected in Fancj(-/-) mice, high levels of spontaneous MSI occur, which is exacerbated by replication inhibition. In contrast, MSI is not observed in Fancd2(-/-) mice but is prevalent in human FA-J patients. Together, these data implicate FANCJ as a key factor required to counteract MSI, which is functionally distinct from its role in the FA pathway.

Risitano AM, Marotta S, Calzone R, et al.
Twenty years of the Italian Fanconi Anemia Registry: where we stand and what remains to be learned.
Haematologica. 2016; 101(3):319-27 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2017 Related Publications
The natural history of Fanconi anemia remains hard to establish because of its rarity and its heterogeneous clinical presentation; since 1994, the Italian Fanconi Anemia Registry has collected clinical, epidemiological and genetic data of Italian Fanconi Anemia patients. This registry includes 180 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of Fanconi anemia who have either been enrolled prospectively, at diagnosis, or later on. After enrollment, follow-up data were periodically collected to assess the clinical course, possible complications and long-term survival; the median follow up was 15.6 years. The main goal of the study was to describe the natural history of Fanconi anemia, focusing on the following variables: family history, disease presentation, development of hematological manifestations, development of malignancies, occurrence of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and survival. Typical morphological and/or hematological abnormalities and/or growth retardation were the most common manifestations at diagnosis; the majority of patients (77%) exhibited hematological abnormalities at the initial presentation, and almost all (96%) eventually developed hematological manifestations. More than half of the patients (57%) underwent a bone-marrow transplant. The occurrence of cancer was quite rare at diagnosis, whereas the cumulative incidence of malignancies at 10, 20 and 30 years was 5%, 8% and 22%, respectively, for hematological cancers and 1%, 15% and 32%, respectively, for solid tumors. Overall survival at 10, 20 and 30 years were 88%, 56% and 37%, respectively; the main causes of death were cancer, complications of the hematological presentation and complications of transplantation. These data clearly confirm the detrimental outcome of Fanconi anemia, with no major improvement in the past decades.

Dong H, Nebert DW, Bruford EA, et al.
Update of the human and mouse Fanconi anemia genes.
Hum Genomics. 2015; 9:32 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/07/2017 Related Publications
Fanconi anemia (FA) is a recessively inherited disease manifesting developmental abnormalities, bone marrow failure, and increased risk of malignancies. Whereas FA has been studied for nearly 90 years, only in the last 20 years have increasing numbers of genes been implicated in the pathogenesis associated with this genetic disease. To date, 19 genes have been identified that encode Fanconi anemia complementation group proteins, all of which are named or aliased, using the root symbol "FANC." Fanconi anemia subtype (FANC) proteins function in a common DNA repair pathway called "the FA pathway," which is essential for maintaining genomic integrity. The various FANC mutant proteins contribute to distinct steps associated with FA pathogenesis. Herein, we provide a review update of the 19 human FANC and their mouse orthologs, an evolutionary perspective on the FANC genes, and the functional significance of the FA DNA repair pathway in association with clinical disorders. This is an example of a set of genes--known to exist in vertebrates, invertebrates, plants, and yeast--that are grouped together on the basis of shared biochemical and physiological functions, rather than evolutionary phylogeny, and have been named on this basis by the HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC).

Kiyoi H
Overview: A New Era of Cancer Genome in Myeloid Malignancies.
Oncology. 2015; 89 Suppl 1:1-3 [PubMed] Related Publications
In the Myeloid session of the 30th Nagoya International Cancer Treatment Symposium, three speakers were invited. Prof. Clara Bloomfield emphasized the importance of genetic alterations for the prognostic stratification and treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Dr. Eytan Stein showed that there are promising anti-leukemia effects of IDH2 inhibitor, AG-221, and DOT1L inhibitor, EPZ-5676, based on early-phase clinical studies. Prof. Seishi Ogawa presented a review of the clonal dynamics of secondary myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) derived from aplastic anemia (AA). From these presentations, we are confident that molecular analysis-based individualized therapies will be realized within a few years.

Kutler DI, Patel KR, Auerbach AD, et al.
Natural history and management of Fanconi anemia patients with head and neck cancer: A 10-year follow-up.
Laryngoscope. 2016; 126(4):870-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: To describe the management and outcomes of Fanconi anemia (FA) patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
STUDY DESIGN: Cohort study.
METHODS: Demographic information, prognostic factors, therapeutic management, and survival outcomes for FA patients enrolled in the International Fanconi Anemia Registry who developed head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) were analyzed.
RESULTS: Thirty-five FA patients were diagnosed with HNSCC at a mean age of 32 years. The most common site of primary cancer was the oral cavity (26 of 35, 74%). Thirty patients underwent surgical resection of the cancer. Sixteen patients received radiation therapy with an average radiation dose of 5,050 cGy. The most common toxicities were high-grade mucositis (9 of 16, 56%), hematologic abnormalities (8 of 16, 50%), and dysphagia (8 of 16, 50%). Three patients received conventional chemotherapy and had significant complications, whereas three patients who received targeted chemotherapy with cetuximab had fewer toxicities. The 5-year overall survival rate was 39%, with a cause-specific survival rate of 47%.
CONCLUSIONS: Fanconi anemia patients have a high risk of developing aggressive HNSCC at an early age. Fanconi anemia patients can tolerate complex ablative and reconstructive surgeries, but careful postoperative care is required to reduce morbidity. The treatment of FA-associated HNSCC is difficult secondary to the poor tolerance of radiation and chemotherapy. However, radiation should be used for high-risk cancers due to the poor survival in these patients.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 4.

Belo H, Silva G, Cardoso BA, et al.
Epigenetic Alterations in Fanconi Anaemia: Role in Pathophysiology and Therapeutic Potential.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(10):e0139740 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Fanconi anaemia (FA) is an inherited disorder characterized by chromosomal instability. The phenotype is variable, which raises the possibility that it may be affected by other factors, such as epigenetic modifications. These play an important role in oncogenesis and may be pharmacologically manipulated. Our aim was to explore whether the epigenetic profiles in FA differ from non-FA individuals and whether these could be manipulated to alter the disease phenotype. We compared expression of epigenetic genes and DNA methylation profile of tumour suppressor genes between FA and normal samples. FA samples exhibited decreased expression levels of genes involved in epigenetic regulation and hypomethylation in the promoter regions of tumour suppressor genes. Treatment of FA cells with histone deacetylase inhibitor Vorinostat increased the expression of DNM3Tβ and reduced the levels of CIITA and HDAC9, PAK1, USP16, all involved in different aspects of epigenetic and immune regulation. Given the ability of Vorinostat to modulate epigenetic genes in FA patients, we investigated its functional effects on the FA phenotype. This was assessed by incubating FA cells with Vorinostat and quantifying chromosomal breaks induced by DNA cross-linking agents. Treatment of FA cells with Vorinostat resulted in a significant reduction of aberrant cells (81% on average). Our results suggest that epigenetic mechanisms may play a role in oncogenesis in FA. Epigenetic agents may be helpful in improving the phenotype of FA patients, potentially reducing tumour incidence in this population.

Hashimoto K, Wada K, Matsumoto K, Moriya M
Physical interaction between SLX4 (FANCP) and XPF (FANCQ) proteins and biological consequences of interaction-defective missense mutations.
DNA Repair (Amst). 2015; 35:48-54 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
SLX4 (FANCP) and XPF (FANCQ) proteins interact with each other and play a vital role in the Fanconi anemia (FA) DNA repair pathway. We have identified a SLX4 region and several amino acid residues that are responsible for this interaction. The study has revealed that the global minor allele, SLX4(Y546C), is defective in this interaction and cannot complement Fancp knockout mouse cells in mitomycin C-induced cytotoxicity or chromosomal aberrations. These results highly suggest this allele, as well as SLX4(L530Q), to be pathogenic. The interacting partner XPF is involved in various DNA repair pathways, and certain XPF mutations cause progeria, Cockayne syndrome (CS), and/or FA phenotypes. Because several atypical xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) phenotype-causing XPF missense mutations are located in the SLX4-interacting region, we suspected the disruption of the interaction with SLX4 in these XPF mutants, thereby causing severer phenotypes. The immunoprecipitation assay of cell extracts revealed that those XPF mutations, except XPF(C236R), located in the SLX4-interacting region cause instability of XPF protein, which could be the reason for the FA, progeria and/or CS phenotypes.

Gaballa S, Palmisiano N, Alpdogan O, et al.
A Two-Step Haploidentical Versus a Two-Step Matched Related Allogeneic Myeloablative Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation.
Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2016; 22(1):141-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Haploidentical stem cell transplantation (SCT) offers a transplantation option to patients who lack an HLA-matched donor. We developed a 2-step approach to myeloablative allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for patients with haploidentical or matched related (MR) donors. In this approach, the lymphoid and myeloid portions of the graft are administered in 2 separate steps to allow fixed T cell dosing. Cyclophosphamide is used for T cell tolerization. Given a uniform conditioning regimen, graft T cell dose, and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis strategy, we compared immune reconstitution and clinical outcomes in patients undergoing 2-step haploidentical versus 2-step MR SCT. We retrospectively compared data on patients undergoing a 2-step haploidentical (n = 50) or MR (n = 27) peripheral blood SCT for high-risk hematological malignancies and aplastic anemia. Both groups received myeloablative total body irradiation conditioning. Immune reconstitution data included flow cytometric assessment of T cell subsets at day 28 and 90 after SCT. Both groups showed comparable early immune recovery in all assessed T cell subsets except for the median CD3/CD8 cell count, which was higher in the MR group at day 28 compared with that in the haploidentical group. The 3-year probability of overall survival was 70% in the haploidentical group and 71% in the MR group (P = .81), while the 3-year progression-free survival was 68% in the haploidentical group and 70% in the MR group (P = .97). The 3-year cumulative incidence of nonrelapse mortality was 10% in the haploidentical group and 4% in the MR group (P = .34). The 3-year cumulative incidence of relapse was 21% in the haploidentical group and 27% in the MR group (P = .93). The 100-day cumulative incidence of overall grades II to IV acute GVHD was higher in the haploidentical group compared with that in the MR group (40% versus 8%, P < .001), whereas the grades III and IV acute GVHD was not statistically different between both groups (haploidentical, 6%; MR, 4%; P = .49). The cumulative incidence of cytomegalovirus reactivation was also higher in the haploidentical group compared to the MR group (haploidentical, 68%; MR, 19%; P < .001). There were no deaths from GVHD in either group. Using an identical conditioning regimen, graft T cell dose, and GVHD prophylaxis strategy, comparable early immune recovery and clinical outcomes were observed in the 2-step haploidentical and MR SCT recipients.

Danilova N, Gazda HT
Ribosomopathies: how a common root can cause a tree of pathologies.
Dis Model Mech. 2015; 8(9):1013-26 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Defects in ribosome biogenesis are associated with a group of diseases called the ribosomopathies, of which Diamond-Blackfan anemia (DBA) is the most studied. Ribosomes are composed of ribosomal proteins (RPs) and ribosomal RNA (rRNA). RPs and multiple other factors are necessary for the processing of pre-rRNA, the assembly of ribosomal subunits, their export to the cytoplasm and for the final assembly of subunits into a ribosome. Haploinsufficiency of certain RPs causes DBA, whereas mutations in other factors cause various other ribosomopathies. Despite the general nature of their underlying defects, the clinical manifestations of ribosomopathies differ. In DBA, for example, red blood cell pathology is especially evident. In addition, individuals with DBA often have malformations of limbs, the face and various organs, and also have an increased risk of cancer. Common features shared among human DBA and animal models have emerged, such as small body size, eye defects, duplication or overgrowth of ectoderm-derived structures, and hematopoietic defects. Phenotypes of ribosomopathies are mediated both by p53-dependent and -independent pathways. The current challenge is to identify differences in response to ribosomal stress that lead to specific tissue defects in various ribosomopathies. Here, we review recent findings in this field, with a particular focus on animal models, and discuss how, in some cases, the different phenotypes of ribosomopathies might arise from differences in the spatiotemporal expression of the affected genes.

Rodríguez A, Torres L, Juárez U, et al.
Fanconi anemia cells with unrepaired DNA damage activate components of the checkpoint recovery process.
Theor Biol Med Model. 2015; 12:19 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The FA/BRCA pathway repairs DNA interstrand crosslinks. Mutations in this pathway cause Fanconi anemia (FA), a chromosome instability syndrome with bone marrow failure and cancer predisposition. Upon DNA damage, normal and FA cells inhibit the cell cycle progression, until the G2/M checkpoint is turned off by the checkpoint recovery, which becomes activated when the DNA damage has been repaired. Interestingly, highly damaged FA cells seem to override the G2/M checkpoint. In this study we explored with a Boolean network model and key experiments whether checkpoint recovery activation occurs in FA cells with extensive unrepaired DNA damage.
METHODS: We performed synchronous/asynchronous simulations of the FA/BRCA pathway Boolean network model. FA-A and normal lymphoblastoid cell lines were used to study checkpoint and checkpoint recovery activation after DNA damage induction. The experimental approach included flow cytometry cell cycle analysis, cell division tracking, chromosome aberration analysis and gene expression analysis through qRT-PCR and western blot.
RESULTS: Computational simulations suggested that in FA mutants checkpoint recovery activity inhibits the checkpoint components despite unrepaired DNA damage, a behavior that we did not observed in wild-type simulations. This result implies that FA cells would eventually reenter the cell cycle after a DNA damage induced G2/M checkpoint arrest, but before the damage has been fixed. We observed that FA-A cells activate the G2/M checkpoint and arrest in G2 phase, but eventually reach mitosis and divide with unrepaired DNA damage, thus resolving the initial checkpoint arrest. Based on our model result we look for ectopic activity of checkpoint recovery components. We found that checkpoint recovery components, such as PLK1, are expressed to a similar extent as normal undamaged cells do, even though FA-A cells harbor highly damaged DNA.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that FA cells, despite extensive DNA damage, do not loss the capacity to express the transcriptional and protein components of checkpoint recovery that might eventually allow their division with unrepaired DNA damage. This might allow cell survival but increases the genomic instability inherent to FA individuals and promotes cancer.

Smetsers SE, Velleuer E, Dietrich R, et al.
Noninvasive molecular screening for oral precancer in Fanconi anemia patients.
Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2015; 8(11):1102-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
LOH at chromosome arms 3p, 9p, 11q, and 17p are well-established oncogenetic aberrations in oral precancerous lesions and promising biomarkers to monitor the development of oral cancer. Noninvasive LOH screening of brushed oral cells is a preferable method for precancer detection in patients at increased risk for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), such as patients with Fanconi anemia. We determined the prevalence of LOH in brushed samples of the oral epithelium of 141 patients with Fanconi anemia and 144 aged subjects, and studied the association between LOH and HNSCC. LOH was present in 14 (9.9%) nontransplanted patients with Fanconi anemia, whereas LOH was not detected in a low-risk group (n = 50, >58 years, nonsmoking/nonalcohol history) and a group with somewhat increased HNSCC risk (n = 94, >58 years, heavy smoking/excessive alcohol use); Fisher exact test, P = 0.023 and P = 0.001, respectively. Most frequent genetic alteration was LOH at 9p. Age was a significant predictor of LOH (OR, 1.13, P = 0.001). Five patients with Fanconi anemia developed HNSCC during the study at a median age of 39.6 years (range, 24.8-53.7). LOH was significantly associated with HNSCC (Fisher exact test, P = 0.000). Unexpectedly, the LOH assay could not be used for transplanted patients with Fanconi anemia because donor DNA in brushed oral epithelium, most likely from donor leukocytes present in the oral cavity, disturbed the analysis. Noninvasive screening using a LOH assay on brushed samples of the oral epithelium has a promising outlook in patients with Fanconi anemia. However, assays need to be adapted in case of stem cell transplantation, because of contaminating donor DNA.

Hama A, Takahashi Y, Muramatsu H, et al.
Comparison of long-term outcomes between children with aplastic anemia and refractory cytopenia of childhood who received immunosuppressive therapy with antithymocyte globulin and cyclosporine.
Haematologica. 2015; 100(11):1426-33 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
The 2008 World Health Organization classification proposed a new entity in childhood myelodysplastic syndrome, refractory cytopenia of childhood. However, it is unclear whether this morphological classification reflects clinical outcomes. We retrospectively reviewed bone marrow morphology in 186 children (median age 8 years; range 1-16 years) who were enrolled in the prospective study and received horse antithymocyte globulin and cyclosporine between July 1999 and November 2008. The median follow-up period was 87 months (range 1-146 months). Out of 186 patients, 62 (33%) were classified with aplastic anemia, 94 (49%) with refractory cytopenia of childhood, and 34 (18%) with refractory cytopenia with multilineage dysplasia. Aplastic anemia patients received granulocyte colony-stimulating factor more frequently and for longer durations than other patients (P<0.01). After six months, response rates to immunosuppressive therapy were not significantly different among the 3 groups. Acquisition of chromosomal abnormalities was observed in 5 patients with aplastic anemia, 4 patients with refractory cytopenia of childhood, and 3 patients with refractory cytopenia with multilineage dysplasia. Although the cumulative incidence of total clonal evolution at ten years was not significantly different among the 3 groups, the cumulative incidence of monosomy 7 development was significantly higher in aplastic anemia than in the other groups (P=0.02). Multivariate analysis revealed that only granulocyte colony-stimulating factor administration duration of 40 days or more was a significant risk factor for monosomy 7 development (P=0.02). These findings suggest that even the introduction of a strict morphological distinction from hypoplastic myelodysplastic syndrome cannot eradicate clonal evolution in children with aplastic anemia.

Yin G, Ni Y, Xiao Z, et al.
Concurrent Epstein-Barr virus associated NK/T cell lymphoma after immunosuppressive therapy for aplastic anemia: report of a case and review of literature.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015; 8(6):7588-93 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Aplastic anemia (AA) patients with prolonged immunosuppression have a risk of development of lymphoproliferative disorders (LPDs), especially combined with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection. However, development of nature killer/T (NK/T) cell lymphoma, in a nontransplantation setting, has not been documented for AA patients with immunosuppressive therapy (IST). Herein, we described a middle-aged man, Han ethnic, who presented with swelled parotid gland after a long history of IST for AA. Fever, night sweating, weight loss had not been found. Increased heterotypic lymphocytes had been detected in the left side of parotid gland demonstrated as cCD3(+), CD56(+), GranB(+), TIA-1(+), MUM-1(+), KI-67 (50%-75%)(++), Bcl-6(-), MPO(-) by immunohistochemistry, and in-situ hybridization (ISH) indicated EBER positive. Chromosome analysis by R banding method revealed 46, XY [20]. NK/T cell lymphoma concurrent with aplastic anemia was diagnosed and a mild chemotherapy regimen including vincristine, prednisone, L-asparaginase was administered. The parotid mass was gradually regressed after the first cycle of chemotherapy. The patient discharged from the hospital voluntarily and lost the follow-up.

Jo U, Kim H
Exploiting the Fanconi Anemia Pathway for Targeted Anti-Cancer Therapy.
Mol Cells. 2015; 38(8):669-76 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Genome instability, primarily caused by faulty DNA repair mechanisms, drives tumorigenesis. Therapeutic interventions that exploit deregulated DNA repair in cancer have made considerable progress by targeting tumor-specific alterations of DNA repair factors, which either induces synthetic lethality or augments the efficacy of conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The study of Fanconi anemia (FA), a rare inherited blood disorder and cancer predisposition syndrome, has been instrumental in understanding the extent to which DNA repair defects contribute to tumorigenesis. The FA pathway functions to resolve blocked replication forks in response to DNA interstrand cross-links (ICLs), and accumulating knowledge of its activation by the ubiquitin-mediated signaling pathway has provided promising therapeutic opportunities for cancer treatment. Here, we discuss recent advances in our understanding of FA pathway regulation and its potential application for designing tailored therapeutics that take advantage of deregulated DNA ICL repair in cancer.

Matsuda I, Tsuchida YA, Toyoshima F, et al.
Occurrence of colon tumors in a 16-year-old Japanese boy after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for Diamond Blackfan anemia at age of 4: a case report.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015; 8(5):5938-43 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Diamond Blackfan anemia (DBA) is a congenital pure red cell aplasia mainly caused by a mutation in ribosomal protein genes. One of the proposed mechanisms for red cell aplasia in DBA is apoptosis caused by constitutive activation of tumor suppressor TP53 protein following defective ribosome biogenesis. Because of this close relationship between ribosome biogenesis and TP53 activation, patients with DBA are considered to be cancer-prone. The association between bone marrow failure and tumor susceptibility in DBA appears paradoxical. Also, the detailed information is lacking on malignancy occurring in patients with DBA. Here, we report a case of a 16-year-old Japanese boy suffering from multiple colon tumors during the follow-up after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for DBA at the age of 4. Well differentiated tubular adenocarcinoma was detected at the rectum 12 years after the transplantation, followed by multiple tubular adenomas of low to high grade throughout the colon. Endoscopic submucosal dissection was performed for these tumors and the lesions were completely resected. These tumors did not show diffuse and strong TP53 positivity by immunohistochemistry, suggesting that TP53 mutation was not involved in the tumorigenesis as observed in conventional colorectal cancers. Microsatellite instability test and immunohistochemical examination of β-catenin and MLH1 proteins of these tumors showed that WNT signaling or microsatellite instability was less likely to be involved in the present tumors as observed in conventional left-sided or right-sided colon cancers, respectively. To our knowledge, this is the first case report of colon tumors associated with DBA.

Yoshizato T, Dumitriu B, Hosokawa K, et al.
Somatic Mutations and Clonal Hematopoiesis in Aplastic Anemia.
N Engl J Med. 2015; 373(1):35-47 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In patients with acquired aplastic anemia, destruction of hematopoietic cells by the immune system leads to pancytopenia. Patients have a response to immunosuppressive therapy, but myelodysplastic syndromes and acute myeloid leukemia develop in about 15% of the patients, usually many months to years after the diagnosis of aplastic anemia.
METHODS: We performed next-generation sequencing and array-based karyotyping using 668 blood samples obtained from 439 patients with aplastic anemia. We analyzed serial samples obtained from 82 patients.
RESULTS: Somatic mutations in myeloid cancer candidate genes were present in one third of the patients, in a limited number of genes and at low initial variant allele frequency. Clonal hematopoiesis was detected in 47% of the patients, most frequently as acquired mutations. The prevalence of the mutations increased with age, and mutations had an age-related signature. DNMT3A-mutated and ASXL1-mutated clones tended to increase in size over time; the size of BCOR- and BCORL1-mutated and PIGA-mutated clones decreased or remained stable. Mutations in PIGA and BCOR and BCORL1 correlated with a better response to immunosuppressive therapy and longer and a higher rate of overall and progression-free survival; mutations in a subgroup of genes that included DNMT3A and ASXL1 were associated with worse outcomes. However, clonal dynamics were highly variable and might not necessarily have predicted the response to therapy and long-term survival among individual patients.
CONCLUSIONS: Clonal hematopoiesis was prevalent in aplastic anemia. Some mutations were related to clinical outcomes. A highly biased set of mutations is evidence of Darwinian selection in the failed bone marrow environment. The pattern of somatic clones in individual patients over time was variable and frequently unpredictable. (Funded by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research and others.).

Stoepker C, Ameziane N, van der Lelij P, et al.
Defects in the Fanconi Anemia Pathway and Chromatid Cohesion in Head and Neck Cancer.
Cancer Res. 2015; 75(17):3543-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
Failure to repair DNA damage or defective sister chromatid cohesion, a process essential for correct chromosome segregation, can be causative of chromosomal instability (CIN), which is a hallmark of many types of cancers. We investigated how frequent this occurs in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and whether specific mechanisms or genes could be linked to these phenotypes. The genomic instability syndrome Fanconi anemia is caused by mutations in any of at least 16 genes regulating DNA interstrand crosslink (ICL) repair. Since patients with Fanconi anemia have a high risk to develop HNSCC, we investigated whether and to which extent Fanconi anemia pathway inactivation underlies CIN in HNSCC of non-Fanconi anemia individuals. We observed ICL-induced chromosomal breakage in 9 of 17 (53%) HNSCC cell lines derived from patients without Fanconi anemia. In addition, defective sister chromatid cohesion was observed in five HNSCC cell lines. Inactivation of FANCM was responsible for chromosomal breakage in one cell line, whereas in two other cell lines, somatic mutations in PDS5A or STAG2 resulted in inadequate sister chromatid cohesion. In addition, FANCF methylation was found in one cell line by screening an additional panel of 39 HNSCC cell lines. Our data demonstrate that CIN in terms of ICL-induced chromosomal breakage and defective chromatid cohesion is frequently observed in HNSCC. Inactivation of known Fanconi anemia and chromatid cohesion genes does explain CIN in the minority of cases. These findings point to phenotypes that may be highly relevant in treatment response of HNSCC.

Virts EL, Jankowska A, Mackay C, et al.
AluY-mediated germline deletion, duplication and somatic stem cell reversion in UBE2T defines a new subtype of Fanconi anemia.
Hum Mol Genet. 2015; 24(18):5093-108 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Fanconi anemia (FA) is a rare inherited disorder clinically characterized by congenital malformations, progressive bone marrow failure and cancer susceptibility. At the cellular level, FA is associated with hypersensitivity to DNA-crosslinking genotoxins. Eight of 17 known FA genes assemble the FA E3 ligase complex, which catalyzes monoubiquitination of FANCD2 and is essential for replicative DNA crosslink repair. Here, we identify the first FA patient with biallelic germline mutations in the ubiquitin E2 conjugase UBE2T. Both mutations were aluY-mediated: a paternal deletion and maternal duplication of exons 2-6. These loss-of-function mutations in UBE2T induced a cellular phenotype similar to biallelic defects in early FA genes with the absence of FANCD2 monoubiquitination. The maternal duplication produced a mutant mRNA that could encode a functional protein but was degraded by nonsense-mediated mRNA decay. In the patient's hematopoietic stem cells, the maternal allele with the duplication of exons 2-6 spontaneously reverted to a wild-type allele by monoallelic recombination at the duplicated aluY repeat, thereby preventing bone marrow failure. Analysis of germline DNA of 814 normal individuals and 850 breast cancer patients for deletion or duplication of UBE2T exons 2-6 identified the deletion in only two controls, suggesting aluY-mediated recombinations within the UBE2T locus are rare and not associated with an increased breast cancer risk. Finally, a loss-of-function germline mutation in UBE2T was detected in a high-risk breast cancer patient with wild-type BRCA1/2. Cumulatively, we identified UBE2T as a bona fide FA gene (FANCT) that also may be a rare cancer susceptibility gene.

Zhu J, Su F, Mukherjee S, et al.
FANCD2 influences replication fork processes and genome stability in response to clustered DSBs.
Cell Cycle. 2015; 14(12):1809-22 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Fanconi Anemia (FA) is a cancer predisposition syndrome and the factors defective in FA are involved in DNA replication, DNA damage repair and tumor suppression. Here, we show that FANCD2 is critical for genome stability maintenance in response to high-linear energy transfer (LET) radiation. We found that FANCD2 is monoubiquitinated and recruited to the sites of clustered DNA double-stranded breaks (DSBs) specifically in S/G2 cells after high-LET radiation. Further, FANCD2 facilitated the repair of clustered DSBs in S/G2 cells and proper progression of S-phase. Furthermore, lack of FANCD2 led to a reduced rate of replication fork progression and elevated levels of both replication fork stalling and new origin firing in response to high-LET radiation. Mechanistically, FANCD2 is required for correct recruitment of RPA2 and Rad51 to the sites of clustered DSBs and that is critical for proper processing of clustered DSBs. Significantly, FANCD2-decifient cells exhibited defective chromosome segregation, elevated levels of chromosomal aberrations, and anchorage-independent growth in response to high-LET radiation. These findings establish FANCD2 as a key factor in genome stability maintenance in response to high-LET radiation and as a promising target to improve cancer therapy.

Shen Y, Lee YH, Panneerselvam J, et al.
Mutated Fanconi anemia pathway in non-Fanconi anemia cancers.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(24):20396-403 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
An extremely high cancer incidence and the hypersensitivity to DNA crosslinking agents associated with Fanconi Anemia (FA) have marked it to be a unique genetic model system to study human cancer etiology and treatment, which has emerged an intense area of investigation in cancer research. However, there is limited information about the relationship between the mutated FA pathway and the cancer development or/and treatment in patients without FA. Here we analyzed the mutation rates of the seventeen FA genes in 68 DNA sequence datasets. We found that the FA pathway is frequently mutated across a variety of human cancers, with a rate mostly in the range of 15 to 35 % in human lung, brain, bladder, ovarian, breast cancers, or others. Furthermore, we found a statistically significant correlation (p < 0.05) between the mutated FA pathway and the development of human bladder cancer that we only further analyzed. Together, our study demonstrates a previously unknown fact that the mutated FA pathway frequently occurs during the development of non-FA human cancers, holding profound implications directly in advancing our understanding of human tumorigenesis as well as tumor sensitivity/resistance to crosslinking drug-relevant chemotherapy.

Jawaid A
Haematological causes of thrombocytopenia in children at Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi.
J Pak Med Assoc. 2015; 65(4):347-59 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To identify the haematological causes of thrombocytopenia in children admitted at a tertiary care hospital.
METHODS: The prospective, descriptive study was carried out at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, from September 3, 2009 to March 3, 2010, and comprised children between one month and 14 years of age with platelet count less than15000. After reviewing the record, a questionnaire was filled and data was analysed using SPSS 15.
RESULTS: Out of 108 patients in the study, 69(64%) were male and 39(36%) were female. The overall mean age was 69±46.54 months (range: 12-168 months). The mean platelet count was 59.8±46.1/µl (range: 1,000-149,000/µl). Besides, 24 (22.2%) children had mild thrombocytopenia, 34(31.5%) had moderate and 50(46.3 %) had severe thrombocytopenia. The causes of haematological thrombocytopenia in descending order of frequency was acute lymphoblastic leukaemia 17(15.7%), idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura 10(8.3%) and aplastic anaemia 5(4.6%).
CONCLUSIONS: Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia was the commonest cause of haematological thrombocytopenia followed by idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura and aplastic anaemia.

Nikolajeva O, Mijovic A, Hess D, et al.
Single-donor granulocyte transfusions for improving the outcome of high-risk pediatric patients with known bacterial and fungal infections undergoing stem cell transplantation: a 10-year single-center experience.
Bone Marrow Transplant. 2015; 50(6):846-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Bacterial and fungal infections remain a significant cause of transplant-related mortality following allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT). Granulocyte transfusions (GTs) may reduce the neutropenic period after SCT and prevent further progression of the existing infection (that is, therapeutic GT) in addition to standard antibacterial and antifungal therapy. A retrospective analysis was performed on 28 consecutive pediatric SCT recipients who received at least one dose of GT between March 2003 and November 2013 at a single institution. All donors were conditioned with G-CSF+dexamethasone with harvest performed 12-18 h later. Indications for SCT were acute leukemia in 46% (13/28) and severe aplastic anemia in 21% (6/28). The main indications for GT were invasive fungal disease in 50%, bacterial infection in 21% and co-morbidities with predicted reduced tolerance to sepsis in 18% (5/28). The median number of GT was 6 (range 1-14) with a median dose of 3.56 × 10(10) granulocytes infused. The median increment in ANC was 1.06 × 10(9)/L and correlated with the granulocyte dose infused. Adverse reactions observed were mild and infrequent. Sixty-four percent of patients (18/28) are alive with only 2 of the 10 deaths being related to progression of infection. In addition there was a low overall incidence of grade 3-4 acute mucositis and a very low incidence (7%) of acute GvHD grade 3-4. Single-donor GTs afford protection to children undergoing SCT at additional risk of infection and may reduce the overall incidence of severe GvHD.

Sauter SL, Wells SI, Zhang X, et al.
Oral human papillomavirus is common in individuals with Fanconi anemia.
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2015; 24(5):864-72 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Fanconi anemia is a rare genetic disorder resulting in a loss of function of the Fanconi anemia-related DNA repair pathway. Individuals with Fanconi anemia are predisposed to some cancers, including oropharyngeal and gynecologic cancers, with known associations with human papillomavirus (HPV) in the general population. As individuals with Fanconi anemia respond poorly to chemotherapy and radiation, prevention of cancer is critical.
METHODS: To determine whether individuals with Fanconi anemia are particularly susceptible to oral HPV infection, we analyzed survey-based risk factor data and tested DNA isolated from oral rinses from 126 individuals with Fanconi anemia and 162 unaffected first-degree family members for 37 HPV types.
RESULTS: Fourteen individuals (11.1%) with Fanconi anemia tested positive, significantly more (P = 0.003) than family members (2.5%). While HPV prevalence was even higher for sexually active individuals with Fanconi anemia (17.7% vs. 2.4% in family; P = 0.003), HPV positivity also tended to be higher in the sexually inactive (8.7% in Fanconi anemia vs. 2.9% in siblings). Indeed, having Fanconi anemia increased HPV positivity 4.9-fold (95% CI, 1.6-15.4) considering age and sexual experience, but did not differ by other potential risk factors.
CONCLUSION: Our studies suggest that oral HPV is more common in individuals with Fanconi anemia. It will be essential to continue to explore associations between risk factors and immune dysfunction on HPV incidence and persistence over time.
IMPACT: HPV vaccination should be emphasized in those with Fanconi anemia as a first step to prevent oropharyngeal cancers, although additional studies are needed to determine whether the level of protection it offers in this population is adequate.

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