The revolution of myelodysplastic syndromes

Nelli Bejanyan, Mikkael A. Sekeres

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are clonal disorders of the hematopoietic system with resultant cytopenias and shortened survival. Better recognition of MDS and an aging population, some of whom have been treated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy for other cancers, is largely responsible for the growing incidence of this malignancy, which is divided into lower- and higher-risk subtypes. Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents are the first-line treatment options for patients with lower-risk MDS and symptomatic anemia or for those requiring transfusion support. Lenalidomide has been successfully used for patients with the del(5q) chromosomal abnormality who are also transfusion dependent. Hypomethylating agents, such as azacitidine and decitabine, are indicated for patients with higher-risk disease, with azacitidine demonstrating a survival advantage. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is a curative therapeutic approach available to less than 5% of patients with MDS. Combination therapies and newer single agents targeting the important cellular pathways are being explored for treatment of MDS with promising results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-43
Number of pages11
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Hematology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • ESAs
  • MDS
  • growth factors
  • hypomethylating agents
  • myelodysplastic syndromes
  • therapy
  • treatment


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