Review of guidelines for the identification and clinical care of patients with genetic predisposition for hematological malignancies

Fam Cancer. 2021 Oct;20(4):295-303. doi: 10.1007/s10689-021-00263-z. Epub 2021 May 31.


Since WHO has recognized myeloid neoplasms with germline predisposition as a new entity in 2016, it has become increasingly clear that diagnosing familial leukemia has critical implications for both the patient and his/her family, and that interdisciplinary teams of hematologists and clinical geneticists should provide care for this specific patient group. Here, we summarize consensus criteria for the identification and screening of patients with genetic predisposition for hematologic malignancies, as provided by different working groups, e.g. by the Nordic MDS group and the AACR. In addition to typical clinical features, results from targeted deep sequencing may point to a genetic predisposition. We review strategies to distinguish somatic and germline variants and discuss recommendations for genetic analyses aiming to identify the underlying genetic variant that should follow established quality criteria to detect both SNVs and CNVs and to determine the pathogenicity of genetic variants. To enhance the knowledge about hematologic neoplasms with germline predisposition we recommend archiving clinical and genetic data and archiving them in international registries.

Keywords: Genetic predisposition; Germline; Hematologic malignancies; Leukemia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genetic Testing
  • Germ-Line Mutation
  • Hematologic Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Hematologic Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Hematologic Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Leukemia* / genetics
  • Male