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Overview of the Management of Higher-Risk Myelodysplastic Syndromes

Journal Title: 
The Cancer Journal
Primary Author: 
Singh A
Singh A, Carraway HE
Original Publication Date: 
Wednesday, May 31, 2023
Bone Marrow Disease(s): 

Myelodysplastic syndromes or myelodysplastic neoplasms (both abbreviated MDSs) (Leukemia 2022;36:1703-1719) have historically been challenging diseases to treat owing to their complex biology, molecular diversity, and a patient population that is elderly with comorbidities. As the patients are living longer, incidence of MDSs is rising, and challenges in selecting MDS treatments or lack thereof have been becoming more apparent. Fortunately, with better understanding of molecular underpinnings of this heterogeneous syndrome, numerous clinical trials reflecting the biology of disease and catering to the advanced age of MDS patients are in development to maximize the likelihood of identifying active drugs. Addressing this diverse nature of genetic abnormalities, novel agents, and combinations are in development to formulate personalized treatment approaches for MDS patients. Myelodysplastic syndrome is categorized into subtypes that are associated with lower or higher risk for leukemic evolution, and that knowledge helps with therapy selection. Currently, as it stands, for those with higher-risk MDSs, hypomethylating agents are the first-line therapy. Allogenic stem cell transplantation represents the only potential cure for our patients with MDSs and should be considered for all eligible patients with higher-risk MDSs at the time of diagnosis. This review discusses current MDS treatment landscape, as well as new approaches in development.