Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for dyskeratosis congenita

Curr Opin Hematol. 2016 Nov;23(6):501-507. doi: 10.1097/MOH.0000000000000290.


Purpose of review: Dyskeratosis congenita is an inherited bone marrow failure syndrome caused by defects in telomere maintenance. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is the only curative treatment for bone marrow failure because of dyskeratosis congenita. The present review summarizes the literature with respect to the diagnosis and treatment of patients with dyskeratosis congenita who received HSCT, and discusses the recent progress in the management of dyskeratosis congenita.

Recent findings: The recent systematic review of the literature showed poor long-term outcome, with 10-year survival estimates of only 23% in 109 patients with dyskeratosis congenita who received HSCT. Multivariate analysis identified age greater than 20 years at HSCT, HSCT before 2000, and alternative donor source to be poor prognostic markers. HSCT for dyskeratosis congenita is characterized by a marked decline in long-term survival because of late deaths from pulmonary complications. However, a prospective study using danazol showed promising results in gain in telomere length and hematologic responses.

Summary: A recent prospective study may support the recommendation that HSCT is not indicated for patients with dyskeratosis congenita; instead, they should receive androgen, particularly danazol, as a first-line therapy. Another option may be routine use of androgen after HSCT for the prophylaxis of pulmonary fibrosis.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Disease Management
  • Dyskeratosis Congenita / diagnosis
  • Dyskeratosis Congenita / etiology
  • Dyskeratosis Congenita / mortality
  • Dyskeratosis Congenita / therapy*
  • Graft vs Host Disease / etiology
  • Graft vs Host Disease / prevention & control
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation* / methods
  • Humans
  • Tissue Donors
  • Transplantation Conditioning / adverse effects
  • Transplantation Conditioning / methods
  • Transplantation, Homologous
  • Treatment Outcome