What is Myelodysplastic Syndrome or MDS?
MDS, or myelodysplastic syndrome, is a collection of disorders in which the bone marrow does not produce enough blood cells.
Normally, the bone marrow produces three major types of blood: red blood cells (which carry oxygen to the blood), white blood cells (which help the body fight infections), and platelets (which help blood clot).
MDS is not considered a cancer. However, some forms of MDS can progress to acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a type of cancer. It is sometimes refered to as preleukemia, or pre-leukemia.
Symptoms of myelodysplastic conditions:
Anemia—chronic tiredness, shortness of breath, chilled sensation, sometimes chest pain
Neutropenia (low neutrophil count)—increased susceptibility to infection
Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count)—increased susceptibility to bleeding
The goals of therapy are to control symptoms, improve quality of life, improve overall survival, and decrease progression to acute myelogenous leukemia.
The IPSS scoring system can help triage patients for more aggressive treatment (i.e. bone marrow transplant) as well as help determine the best timing of this therapy. Supportive care with blood product support and hematopoeitic growth factors (e.g. erythropoietin) is the mainstay of therapy. Chemotherapy with 5-azacytidine has been shown to decrease blood transfusion requirements and the progression to AML. Lenalidomide is the newest addition in treatment options and was approved by the FDA in December 2005. It has the best activity in patients with the 5q- cytogenetic abnormality, with or without additional abnormalities.
Bone marrow transplant, particularly in younger patients (ie less than 40 years of age), more severely affected patients, offers the potential for curative therapy. Success of bone marrow transplantation has been found to correlate with severity of MDS as determined by the IPSS score
I hope this helps you........