Receive a weekly summary and discussion of the top papers of the week by leading researchers in the field.

In Orphanet journal of rare diseases

BACKGROUND : Since enzyme replacement therapy for Gaucher disease (MIM#230800) has become available, both awareness of and the natural history of the disease have changed. However, there remain unmet needs such as the identification of patients at risk of developing bone crisis during therapy and late complications such as cancer or parkinsonism. The Spanish Gaucher Disease Registry has worked since 1993 to compile demographic, clinical, genetic, analytical, imaging and follow-up data from more than 400 patients. The aims of this study were to discover correlations between patients' characteristics at diagnosis and to identify risk features for the development of late complications; for this a machine learning approach involving correlation networks and decision trees analyses was applied.

RESULTS : A total of 358 patients, 340 type 1 Gaucher disease and 18 type 3 cases were selected. 18% were splenectomyzed and 39% had advanced bone disease. 81% of cases carried heterozygous genotype. 47% of them were diagnosed before the year 2000. Mean age at diagnosis and therapy were 28 and 31.5 years old (y.o.) respectively. 4% developed monoclonal gammopathy undetermined significance or Parkinson Disease, 6% cancer, and 10% died before this study. Previous splenectomy correlates with the development of skeletal complications and severe bone disease (p = 0.005); serum levels of IgA, delayed age at start therapy (> 9.5 y.o. since diagnosis) also correlates with severe bone disease at diagnosis and with the incidence of bone crisis during therapy. High IgG (> 1750 mg/dL) levels and age over 60 y.o. at diagnosis were found to be related with the development of cancer. When modelling the decision tree, patients with a delayed diagnosis and therapy were the most severe and with higher risk of complications.

CONCLUSIONS : Our work confirms previous observations, highlights the importance of early diagnosis and therapy and identifies new risk features such as high IgA and IgG levels for long-term complications.

Andrade-Campos Marcio M, de Frutos Laura López, Cebolla Jorge J, Serrano-Gonzalo Irene, Medrano-Engay Blanca, Roca-Espiau Mercedes, Gomez-Barrera Beatriz, Pérez-Heredia Jorge, Iniguez David, Giraldo Pilar


Bone crisis, ERT, Gaucher disease, Machine learning, Neoplasia