Purpose of the review
Inherited bone marrow failure syndromes (IBMFS) are a diverse set of genetic disorders characterized by the inability of the bone marrow to produce sufficient circulating blood cells. The purpose of this review is to highlight novel findings in the last years and their impact into the understanding of IBMFS.
Mutations in over 80 different genes have been associated with the development of bone marrow failure (BMF). The products of the genes mutated in IBMFS frequently participate in housekeeping pathways, which are important for cell growth and division rather than being specific for hematopoiesis. The common theme of these pathways, when disturbed, is the activation of p53, leading to cell cycle arrest, senescence, and cell death. With continued improvement in therapy for IBMFS, late complications, such as development of malignancies, are seen more frequently. This highlights the importance of understanding the affected pathways and their roles in cancer development.
The recent advancement of our understanding of IBMFS has come largely through the identification of the genetic lesions responsible for disease and the investigations of their pathways. Applied in clinical practice, these findings make it possible to unambiguously identify mutation carriers even before the development of BMF and exclude or confirm a suspected clinical diagnosis for many of the more common IBMFS. The further characterization of the pathways leading to IBMFS are likely to reveal novel targets for screening tests, prognostic biomarkers, and improved and specific therapeutics.
Keywords: Inherited bone marrow failure syndromes, Fanconi Anemia, Dyskeratosis Congenita, Diamond-Blackfan Anemia, Shwachman Diamond Syndrome, Congenital Neutropenia