Myeloid neoplasms in the setting of sickle cell disease: an intrinsic association with the underlying condition rather than a coincidence; report of 4 cases and review of the literature.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

Myeloid neoplasms occasionally occur in patients with sickle cell disease, and the underlying connection between the two diseases is unclear. Herein, we retrospectively analyzed four cases of sickle cell disease patients who developed myeloid neoplasm. Age at time of diagnosis ranged from 27 to 59 years with a median of 35.5 years. Two patients were treated with hydroxyurea and the other two with supportive care alone, with one out of the four patients receiving additional treatment with hematopoietic stem cell transplant. Three patients presented with leukocytosis, and the remaining patient presented with pancytopenia. Two patients were diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome/myeloproliferative neoplasm, one with myelodysplastic syndrome, and the other with acute myeloid leukemia. All four cases demonstrated certain degrees of myelodysplasia and complex cytogenetic abnormalities with - 7/7q- and/or - 5/5q- or with 11q23 (KMT2A) rearrangement. This cytogenetic profile resembles that seen in therapy-related myeloid neoplasm, suggesting that myeloid neoplasm in the setting of sickle cell disease may represent a subcategory of the disease distinct from de novo myeloid neoplasm in general. Extensive literature review further demonstrates this similarity in cytogenetic profile, as well as in other associated pathologic features. Potential etiology includes therapy for sickle cell disease, disease-related immunomodulation, or disease-related chronic inflammation. We hypothesize that constant hematopoietic hyperplasia, stimulated by a hemolysis-induced cytokine storm, may increase the chance of somatic mutations/cytogenetic aberrations, resulting in transformation of myeloid precursors. This group of myeloid neoplasms seems to herald a dismal clinical outcome, with median survival <1 year, although the exact pathogenesis and biology of the disease remain to be investigated by large cohorts in future studies.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Li, Y; Maule, J; Neff, JL; McCall, CM; Rapisardo, S; Lagoo, AS; Yang, L-H; Crawford, RD; Zhao, Y; Wang, E

Published Date

  • December 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 32 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 1712 - 1726

PubMed ID

  • 31371806

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1530-0285

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/s41379-019-0325-6


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States