• Test code: 01411
  • Turnaround time:
    10–21 calendar days (14 days on average)
  • Preferred specimen:
    3mL whole blood in a purple-top tube
  • Alternate specimens:
    DNA or saliva/assisted saliva
  • Sample requirements
  • Request a sample kit

Invitae Myelodysplastic Syndrome/Leukemia Panel

Test description

The Invitae Myelodysplastic Syndrome/Leukemia Panel analyzes genes associated with a hereditary predisposition to the development of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute leukemias. These genes were selected based on the available evidence to date to provide Invitae’s most comprehensive hereditary MDS/leukemia panel. Some of these genes are also associated with an increased risk of other cancer types.

The primary panel includes 16 genes associated with MDS/leukemia. In addition to the primary panel, clinicians can also choose to include 5 genes that have preliminary evidence of an association with MDS/leukemia. At this time, the association of these genes with MDS/leukemia remains uncertain; however, some clinicians may wish to include genes that may prove to be clinically significant in the future. These genes can be added at no additional charge.

Genetic testing of these genes may confirm a diagnosis and help guide treatment and management decisions. Identification of a disease-causing variant may also guide testing and diagnosis of at-risk relatives. This test is specifically designed for heritable germline mutations and is not appropriate for the detection of somatic mutations.

If the patient has undergone an allogenic bone marrow transplant (using bone marrow from a donor) prior to genetic testing or has a current hematological malignancy with actively circulating tumor cells, testing a sample type not derived from blood (such as skin biopsy) is warranted. While we do not accept this sample type directly, we can accept gDNA derived from skin or muscle, though deletion/duplication analysis is not guaranteed for gDNA samples because the success rate varies based on sample quality. Please see our Sample requirements page for more details.

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Primary panel (16 genes)


Add-on Preliminary-evidence Genes for Myelodysplastic Syndrome/Leukemia (5 genes)

Preliminary-evidence genes currently have early evidence of a clinical association with the specific disease covered by this test. Some clinicians may wish to include genes which do not currently have a definitive clinical association, but which may prove to be clinically significant in the future. These genes can be added at no additional charge. Visit our Preliminary-evidence genes page to learn more.


Add-on Dyskeratosis Congenita Primary Genes (9 genes)

Dyskeratosis congenita is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous condition that is characterized by abnormal skin pigmentation, nail dystrophy, oral leukoplakia, and increased risk of progressive bone marrow failure and development of hematologic malignancies. Additional genes associated with dyskeratosis congenita may be added to this panel at no additional charge for patients with dyskeratosis congenita-associated features.


Add-on Fanconi Anemia Genes (17 genes)

Fanconi anemia is a multisystemic disorder characterized by a variable spectrum of physical abnormalities, developmental delay and increased risk of progressive bone marrow failure and hematologic malignancy. Additional genes associated with Fanconi anemia may be added to this panel at no additional charge.


  • ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T)
  • Bloom syndrome
  • constitutional mismatch repair deficiency syndrome (CMMR-D)
  • Costello syndrome
  • familial acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with mutated CEBPA
  • familial platelet disorder with propensity to myeloid malignancy (FPD/AML)
  • GATA2 deficiency
  • Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS)
  • neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1)
  • Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS)
  • TERT-related dyskeratosis congenita
  • TERC-related dyskeratosis congenita

MDS is a clonal hematologic disorder causing ineffective production of blood cells, often characterized by cytopenias, myelodysplasia, and an increased risk of developing acute myeloid leukemia (AML). AML is characterized by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal white blood cells that accumulate in the bone marrow and interfere with the production of normal blood cells. MDS and AML generally occur among the elderly and the incidence increases with age. Cases of early-onset MDS/AML in children or young adults may be associated with underlying hereditary predisposition syndromes. Hereditary MDS or AML may present as part of the clinical spectrum of a particular genetic syndrome, along with other prominent features. Non-syndromic familial MDS/AML is characterized by a strong family history of MDS or AML without other apparent clinical findings. Most cases are caused by inheriting a single pathogenic variant in a gene encoding a transcription factor critical for hematopoiesis. Familial occurrences of MDS/AML appear to be rare, but may be underdiagnosed.

Identification of an underlying genetic predisposition in an individual with a personal or family history of MDS/leukemia is critical for the selection of therapy regimens, consideration of bone marrow or stem cell transplant, long-term cancer surveillance and prognosis, and counseling of the individual and their family.

Individuals with a pathogenic variant in one of these genes have an increased risk of malignancy compared to the average person, but not everyone with such a variant will actually develop cancer. Further, the same variant may manifest with different symptoms, even among family members. Because we cannot predict which cancers may develop, additional medical management strategies focused on cancer prevention and early detection may be beneficial. For gene-associated cancer risks, see the table below.

GeneEstimated MDS/leukemia riskReferences (PMIDs)
CEBPA ~90% (based on small studies) 26162409
GATA2 50%–90% 24227816, 24345756
RUNX1 ~35% (based on small studies) 18723428
TERC 30% 20507306, 19282459
TERT 30% 20507306, 19282459

Several hereditary cancer syndromes are associated with malignancies throughout childhood and into adulthood. The following genetic syndromes have been reported to increase the risk of developing leukemia (PMID: 24857136), among other prominent clinical features. See table below for condition-specific risks.

ConditionGenesEstimated leukemia riskReferences (PMIDs)
Ataxia-telangiectasia ATM 70 times greater than the general population risk for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) 3459930, 12673804
Bloom syndrome BLM 15% 9062585
Constitutional mismatch repair deficiency syndrome (CMMR-D) EPCAM, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PMS2 elevated 18709565, 16341812, 24737826
Costello syndrome HRAS elevated 25742478, 21500339
Nijmegen breakage syndrome NBN elevated 11325820, 16840438
Neurofibromatosis type 1 NF1 11% for myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), 200-500 times greater than the general population risk for juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML) 22240541, 23257896
Li-Fraumeni syndrome TP53 1%–3% 19204208, 20522432

Most of the genes on this panel have autosomal dominant inheritance. Several also have autosomal recessive inheritance, or result in clinically distinct autosomal recessive conditions, as outlined below:

  • ATM is associated with ataxia telangiectasia
  • BLM is associated with Bloom syndrome
  • MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PMS2 are associated with constitutional mismatch repair deficiency syndrome (CMMR-D)
  • NBN is associated with Nijmegen breakage syndrome

This panel may be considered for individuals whose personal and/or family history is suggestive of a hereditary predisposition to MDS or leukemia, including any of the following:

  • MDS or leukemia occurring at a young age (without prior history of chemotherapy)
  • a personal or family history of:
    • low blood counts
    • bleeding diathesis
    • lymphedema
    • immune deficiencies or atypical infections
  • a family history of:
    • MDS/AML/ALL/aplastic anemia
    • early onset cancers of any type
    • several close relatives with cancer
  • additional features that are consistent with the clinical presentation of a genetic syndrome with increased risk of MDS and/or leukemia

If the patient has undergone an allogenic bone marrow transplant (using bone marrow from a donor) prior to genetic testing or currently has a hematological malignancy with actively circulating tumor cells, testing a sample type not derived from blood (such as skin biopsy) is warranted. While we do not accept this sample type directly, we can accept gDNA derived from skin or muscle, but deletion/duplication analysis is not guaranteed for gDNA samples because the success rate varies based on sample quality. Please see our Sample requirements page for more details.

For proposed recommendations to genetic counseling, testing, and clinical management, please refer to:
Churpek JE, et al. Proposal for the clinical detection and management of patients and their family members with familial myelodysplastic syndrome/acute leukemia predisposition syndromes. Leuk Lymphoma. 2013 Jan;54(1):28-35.

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  2. Owen, CJ, et al. Five new pedigrees with inherited RUNX1 mutations causing familial platelet disorder with propensity to myeloid malignancy. Blood. 2008; 112(12):4639-45. PMID: 18723428
  3. Preudhomme, C, et al. High frequency of RUNX1 biallelic alteration in acute myeloid leukemia secondary to familial platelet disorder. Blood. 2009; 113(22):5583-7. PMID: 19357396
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  29. Patil, S, Chamberlain, RS. Neoplasms associated with germline and somatic NF1 gene mutations. Oncologist. 2012; 17(1):101-16. PMID: 22240541
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Assay and technical information

Invitae is a College of American Pathologists (CAP)-accredited and Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)-certified clinical diagnostic laboratory performing full-gene sequencing and deletion/duplication analysis using next-generation sequencing technology (NGS).

Our sequence analysis covers clinically important regions of each gene, including coding exons and 10 to 20 base pairs of adjacent intronic sequence on either side of the coding exons in the transcript listed below. In addition, the analysis covers the select non-coding variants specifically defined in the table below. Any variants that fall outside these regions are not analyzed. Any limitations in the analysis of these genes will be listed on the report. Contact client services with any questions.

Based on validation study results, this assay achieves >99% analytical sensitivity and specificity for single nucleotide variants, insertions and deletions <15bp in length, and exon-level deletions and duplications. Invitae's methods also detect insertions and deletions larger than 15bp but smaller than a full exon but sensitivity for these may be marginally reduced. Invitae’s deletion/duplication analysis determines copy number at a single exon resolution at virtually all targeted exons. However, in rare situations, single-exon copy number events may not be analyzed due to inherent sequence properties or isolated reduction in data quality. Certain types of variants, such as structural rearrangements (e.g. inversions, gene conversion events, translocations, etc.) or variants embedded in sequence with complex architecture (e.g. short tandem repeats or segmental duplications), may not be detected. Additionally, it may not be possible to fully resolve certain details about variants, such as mosaicism, phasing, or mapping ambiguity. Unless explicitly guaranteed, sequence changes in the promoter, non-coding exons, and other non-coding regions are not covered by this assay. Please consult the test definition on our website for details regarding regions or types of variants that are covered or excluded for this test. This report reflects the analysis of an extracted genomic DNA sample. In very rare cases, (circulating hematolymphoid neoplasm, bone marrow transplant, recent blood transfusion) the analyzed DNA may not represent the patient's constitutional genome.

Gene Transcript reference Sequencing analysis Deletion/Duplication analysis
ATM* NM_000051.3
BLM NM_000057.3
BRCA1* NM_007294.3
BRCA2* NM_000059.3
BRIP1 NM_032043.2
CEBPA NM_004364.4
CHEK2 NM_007194.3
CTC1 NM_025099.5
DKC1 NM_001363.4
EPCAM* NM_002354.2
ERCC4 NM_005236.2
FANCA NM_000135.2
FANCB NM_001018113.1
FANCC NM_000136.2
FANCD2* NM_033084.3
FANCE NM_021922.2
FANCF NM_022725.3
FANCG NM_004629.1
FANCI NM_001113378.1
FANCL* NM_018062.3
FANCM NM_020937.2
GATA2 NM_032638.4
HRAS NM_005343.2
MLH1* NM_000249.3
MSH2* NM_000251.2
MSH6 NM_000179.2
NBN NM_002485.4
NF1 NM_000267.3
NHP2 NM_017838.3
NOP10 NM_018648.3
PALB2 NM_024675.3
PARN NM_002582.3
PMS2 NM_000535.5
RAD51C NM_058216.2
RTEL1 NM_001283009.1
RUNX1 NM_001754.4
SLX4 NM_032444.2
TERC NR_001566.1
TERT NM_198253.2
TINF2 NM_001099274.1
TP53* NM_000546.5
XRCC2 NM_005431.1

ATM: Sequencing analysis for exons 24 includes only cds +/- 10 bp.
BRCA1: Sequence analysis includes +/- 20 base pairs of adjacent intronic sequence.
BRCA2: Sequence analysis includes +/- 20 base pairs of adjacent intronic sequence.
EPCAM: Analysis is limited to deletion/duplication analysis.
FANCD2: Deletion/duplication analysis is not offered for exons 14-17 and 22.
FANCL: Sequencing analysis for exons 4 includes only cds +/- 10 bp.
MLH1: Deletion/duplication analysis covers the promoter region.
MSH2: Analysis includes the exon 1-7 inversion (Boland mutation).
TP53: Deletion/duplication analysis covers the promoter region.