Prognostic tumor sequencing panels frequently identify germ line variants associated with hereditary hematopoietic malignancies

Blood Adv. 2018 Jan 23;2(2):146-150. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2017013037.


Next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based targeted gene capture panels are used to profile hematopoietic malignancies to guide prognostication and treatment decisions. Because these panels include genes associated with hereditary hematopoietic malignancies (HHMs), we hypothesized that these panels could identify pathogenic germ line variants in malignant cells, thereby identifying patients at risk for HHMs. In total, pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants in ANKRD26, CEBPA, DDX41, ETV6, GATA2, RUNX1, or TP53 were identified in 74 (21%) of 360 patients. Germ line tissue was available for 24 patients with 25 pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants with variant allele frequencies >0.4. Six (24%) of these 25 variants were of germ line origin. Three DDX41 variants, 2 GATA2 variants, and a TP53 variant previously implicated in Li-Fraumeni syndrome were of germ line origin. No likely pathogenic/pathogenic germ line variants possessed variant allele frequencies <0.4. This study demonstrates that NGS-based prognostic panels may identify individuals at risk for HHMs despite not being designed for this purpose. Furthermore, variants known to cause Li-Fraumeni syndrome as well as known pathogenic variants in genes such as DDX41 and GATA2 are especially likely to be of germ line origin. Thus, tumor-based panels may augment, but should not replace, comprehensive germ line-based testing and counseling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Germ Cells / pathology
  • Germ-Line Mutation*
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Li-Fraumeni Syndrome / genetics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Young Adult