Predisposition to myeloid malignancies in Shwachman-Diamond syndrome: biological insights and clinical advances

Blood. 2023 Mar 30;141(13):1513-1523. doi: 10.1182/blood.2022017739.


Shwachman-Diamond syndrome (SDS) is an inherited multisystem ribosomopathy characterized by exocrine pancreatic deficiency, bone marrow failure, and predisposition to myeloid malignancies. The pathobiology of SDS results from impaired ribosomal maturation due to the deficiency of SBDS and the inability to evict the antiassociation factor eIF6 from the 60S ribosomal subunit. Clinical outcomes for patients with SDS who develop myeloid malignancies are extremely poor because of high treatment-related toxicities and a high rate of refractory disease/relapse even after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT). Registry data indicate that outcomes are improved for patients with SDS who undergo routine bone marrow surveillance and receive an HSCT before developing an overt malignancy. However, the optimal approach to hematologic surveillance and the timing of HSCT for patients with SDS is not clearly established. Recent studies have elucidated distinct patterns of somatic blood mutations in patients with SDS that either alleviate the ribosome defect via somatic rescue (heterozygous EIF6 inactivation) or disrupt cellular checkpoints, resulting in increased leukemogenic potential (heterozygous TP53 inactivation). Genomic analysis revealed that most myeloid malignancies in patients with SDS have biallelic loss-of-function TP53 mutations. Single-cell DNA sequencing of SDS bone marrow samples can detect premalignant biallelic TP53-mutated clones before clinical diagnosis, suggesting that molecular surveillance may enhance the detection of incipient myeloid malignancies when HSCT may be most effective. Here, we review the clinical, genetic, and biologic features of SDS. In addition, we present evidence supporting the hematologic surveillance for patients with SDS that incorporates clinical, pathologic, and molecular data to risk stratify patients and prioritize transplant evaluation for patients with SDS with high-risk features.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bone Marrow Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Bone Marrow Diseases* / genetics
  • Bone Marrow Diseases* / therapy
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency* / genetics
  • Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Lipomatosis* / genetics
  • Lipomatosis* / therapy
  • Myeloproliferative Disorders*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome