Novel approach to genetic analysis and results in 3000 hemophilia patients enrolled in the My Life, Our Future initiative

Blood Adv. 2017 May 18;1(13):824-834. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2016002923. eCollection 2017 May 23.


Hemophilia A and B are rare, X-linked bleeding disorders. My Life, Our Future (MLOF) is a collaborative project established to genotype and study hemophilia. Patients were enrolled at US hemophilia treatment centers (HTCs). Genotyping was performed centrally using next-generation sequencing (NGS) with an approach that detected common F8 gene inversions simultaneously with F8 and F9 gene sequencing followed by confirmation using standard genotyping methods. Sixty-nine HTCs enrolled the first 3000 patients in under 3 years. Clinically reportable DNA variants were detected in 98.1% (2357/2401) of hemophilia A and 99.3% (595/599) of hemophilia B patients. Of the 924 unique variants found, 285 were novel. Predicted gene-disrupting variants were common in severe disease; missense variants predominated in mild-moderate disease. Novel DNA variants accounted for ∼30% of variants found and were detected continuously throughout the project, indicating that additional variation likely remains undiscovered. The NGS approach detected >1 reportable variants in 36 patients (10 females), a finding with potential clinical implications. NGS also detected incidental variants unlikely to cause disease, including 11 variants previously reported in hemophilia. Although these genes are thought to be conserved, our findings support caution in interpretation of new variants. In summary, MLOF has contributed significantly toward variant annotation in the F8 and F9 genes. In the near future, investigators will be able to access MLOF data and repository samples for research to advance our understanding of hemophilia.