The Clinical Picture of the ERCC6L2 Disease - from Bone Marrow Failure to Acute Leukemia

Blood. 2023 Mar 23;blood.2022019425. doi: 10.1182/blood.2022019425. Online ahead of print.


Biallelic germline ERCC6L2 variants strongly predispose to bone marrow failure (BMF) and myeloid malignancies characterized by somatic TP53-mutated clones and erythroid predominance. We present a series of 52 subjects (35 families) with ERCC6L2 biallelic germline variants collected retrospectively in 11 centers globally, including follow-up of 1165 person-years. At initial investigations, 32 individuals were diagnosed with BMF and 15 with a hematological malignancy (HM). Subjects presented with 19 different variants across ERCC6L2, and we identified a founder mutation c.1424delT in the Finnish patients. The median age of subjects at baseline was 18 years (range 2-65). Changes in complete blood count (CBC) were mild despite severe bone marrow hypoplasia and somatic TP53 mutations, with no significant difference between subjects with or without (HM). Signs of a progressive disease were increasing TP53 variant allele frequency, dysplasia in megakaryocytes and/or erythroid lineage, and erythroid predominance in bone marrow morphology. The median age at onset of HM was 37.0 years (95% CI: 31.5-42.5; range 12-65). Overall survival (OS) at 3 years was 95% (95% CI: 85-100) and 19% (95% CI: 0-39) for patients with BMF and HM, respectively. Patients with myelodysplastic syndrome or acute myeloid leukemia with mutated TP53 undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation had a poor outcome: 3-year OS is 28% (95% CI: 0-61). Our results demonstrate the importance of early recognition and active surveillance of patients with biallelic germline ERCC6L2 variants.