Myelodysplastic syndrome is a type of blood disorder and is difficult to treat. Many patients are able to control the symptoms through medications and in some patients, blood transfusion is required to manage symptoms such as breathing difficulty, infection risk and increased bleeding.
Myelodysplastic syndrome is the disorders in which the blood cells are immature and are not able to perform the physiological function. The condition leads to the low level of RBC, WBC, and platelets. The condition causes a variety of symptoms and reduces the quality of life. In general, the stem cells present in the bone marrow forms the immature cells differentiating into different types of cells. These immature cells mature and performed their respective function. In Myelodysplastic syndrome, the cells do not get mature and in due course of time, the blood is flooded with the immature cells that are not able to function normally leading to shortness of breath, risk of infection and increased risk of bleeding. The condition is chronic and the aim of the treatment is to manage the symptoms through medications, or blood transfusion. To cure the condition permanently, stem cell transplant is the only option but it is not available to all the patients suffering from Myelodysplastic syndrome because of its limitations.(2)
Does Myelodysplastic Syndrome Ever Go Away?
Myelodysplastic syndrome is difficult to treat the condition. The main aim of treatment is to manage the symptoms of the disease. The syndrome cannot be completely cured with the medications as the medications do not prevent the production of immature blood cells. Presently the only permanent cure for myelodysplastic syndrome is the stem cell transplant. Further, in some people, the transplant may completely cure the condition while in some patients the therapy may delay the relapsing of Myelodysplastic syndrome. However, due to its side effects and complications, most of the people are not the candidate for stem cell transplantation. In this treatment, all the cells of the bone marrow including the abnormal cells are killed through the combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. There are two types of stem cell transplant. One type is allogeneic stem transplant. In this type of transplant, the stem cell from another person is transplanted after killing all the bone marrow cells. A various serious adverse reaction such as allergic reactions are high in such transplantation and it is the prerequisite that the cells of the donor closely matches the patient cells. Another type of transplant which is not available for the patient of Myelodysplastic syndrome is autologous stem cells transplant. This transplant is of no use in patients of Myelodysplastic syndrome because the bone marrow of the patient contains abnormal stem cells.
Serious complications occur due to stem cell transplant. The initial side effects are due to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. All the stem cells of the patient are killed leading to a deficit of WBC and platelets. This increases the risk of infection and bleeding. Side effects may be more serious after transplanting the stem cells. The body may have severe host-versus-graft reactions in which the immune cells developed from the transplanted cells act against the tissues of the body leading to complication in the various vital organs. This is a life-threatening condition.
Stem cells transplant is generally advised to the people who are young and healthy. Further, this treatment is effective when the condition has not progressed to leukemia. People may also die due to complications of stem cell transplant. Most physicians are in the view that stem cell transplant should be done if the other treatment options fail to control the disease and the disease has progressed to an advanced stage.(1)
Stem cell transplant is the method for curing Myelodysplastic syndrome. In some patients, it cures the disease while in some patients the relapsing of the condition is delayed. Due to the complications and serious adverse effects, not all the patients are the candidates for these treatment options.
- What is Myelodysplastic Syndrome: Causes, Types, Signs, Symptoms
- Myelodysplastic Syndromes: Staging, Risk Factors, Complications, Diagnosis
- Myelodysplastic Syndromes Treatments: Chemotherapy, Immunotherapy, Bone Marrow Transplant
- Myelodysplastic Syndromes or MDS: Treatment for Side Effects, Children with MDS
- Myelodysplastic Syndromes: Survival Rates, Prognosis, Recurrence, Remission, Lifestyle Changes, Prevention
- Coping with Myelodysplastic Syndromes & its Follow-Up Care