The natural history of Fanconi anemia remains hard to establish because of its rarity and its heterogeneous clinical presentation; since 1994, the Italian Fanconi Anemia Registry has collected clinical, epidemiological and genetic data of Italian Fanconi Anemia patients. This registry includes 180 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of Fanconi anemia who have either been enrolled prospectively, at diagnosis, or later on. After enrollment, follow-up data were periodically collected to assess the clinical course, possible complications and long-term survival; the median follow up was 15.6 years. The main goal of the study was to describe the natural history of Fanconi anemia, focusing on the following variables: family history, disease presentation, development of hematological manifestations, development of malignancies, occurrence of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and survival. Typical morphological and/or hematological abnormalities and/or growth retardation were the most common manifestations at diagnosis; the majority of patients (77%) exhibited hematological abnormalities at the initial presentation, and almost all (96%) eventually developed hematological manifestations. More than half of the patients (57%) underwent a bone-marrow transplant. The occurrence of cancer was quite rare at diagnosis, whereas the cumulative incidence of malignancies at 10, 20 and 30 years was 5%, 8% and 22%, respectively, for hematological cancers and 1%, 15% and 32%, respectively, for solid tumors. Overall survival at 10, 20 and 30 years were 88%, 56% and 37%, respectively; the main causes of death were cancer, complications of the hematological presentation and complications of transplantation. These data clearly confirm the detrimental outcome of Fanconi anemia, with no major improvement in the past decades.
ASJC Scopus subject areas