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Does Myelodysplastic Syndrome Go Into Remission?

MDS i.e. Myelodysplastic Syndrome refers to a group of various diseases, which disrupts the blood cells’ production by the patient’s bone marrow. The bone marrow in case of myelodysplastic syndrome patients is relatively more active but blood cells available for the blood circulation remain limited.

Reason for this is that most of the cells produced in the patient’s bone marrow are of dysplastic i.e. of poor quality and they destroy before leaving the bone marrow. Doctors refer this as a distinctive feature associated with myelodysplastic syndrome i.e. a combination of overactive bone marrow and low count of blood cells. If we have a look at statistics of patients suffering from myelodysplastic syndrome, the problem converts into AML i.e. Acute Myeloid Leukemia in the later years.

Does Myelodysplastic Syndrome Go Into Remission?

The main objective behind the therapy treatment to cure myelodysplastic syndrome is to achieve remission and in turn, to bring the blood counts back to their healthy levels. However, treatment options and valuable recommendations depend on different factors, including the risk related to developing AML, myelodysplastic syndrome IPSS score, side effects, age, preference and present health condition of a patient.(1)

Therapy Types At A Glance

Systemic therapy involves the usage of medicine to destroy various unhealthy cells. Common systemic therapy options include-

Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs intend to destroy any unhealthy cell often by ending the ability of harmful cells to grow as well as divide. Common drugs under the category include-

  1. Hypomethylating drugs, like Decitabine and Azacitidine
  2. Conventional drugs, which include daunorubicin, cytarabine and idarubicin

Immunotherapy. Immunotherapy or biologic therapy intends to boost the natural defense of the patient’s body to fight with myelodysplastic syndrome. Accordingly, the therapy uses materials consisting of human body itself to bring improvement, restore or target the function of his/her immune system.(2)

Key Statistics On Myelodysplastic Syndrome And Its Remission

Myelodysplastic Syndrome belongs to the diversified group of various clonal hematologic neoplasms. According to the research report, a patient suffering from myelodysplastic syndrome has achieved myelodysplastic syndrome remission with the combination therapy of retinoic acid, danazol and prednisone. A 53 years old patient presented with macrocytosis, pancytopenia and hyper-cellular bone marrow in combination with dysplasia, erythroid hyperplasia and 10 percent of side blasts in ringed form.(3)

Cytogenetic Studies. Later on, cytogenetic studies highlighted the presence of abnormal clones. Even diagnosed the patient as suffering from myelodysplastic syndrome refractory anemia and hence, they providers the treatment involving blood transfusions to maintain the exact blood cell counts to the acceptable levels. Simultaneously, doctors prescribed her a combination of therapy treatment, which consists of retinoic acid, danazol and prednisone. After about fourteen months, the patient experienced hematologic remission and hence, she has both normal morphology and normal peripheral blood count.

Bone Marrow Studies. On the other side, bone marrow studies of the patient highlighted regular trilineage hematopoiesis, as the patient continued to avail the same combination of treatment for about 86 months and remained in proper clinical remission. After the completion of her diagnosis and therapy treatment, her AML i.e. Acute Myeloid Leukemia problem relapsed. Based on both the mentioned studies, doctors have concluded that MDS-RA sustains the complete hematologic remission for a relatively long period in response to the chosen combination therapy treatment.(3)

Symptoms Of Myelodysplastic Syndrome

In most of the cases, myelodysplastic syndrome does not cause any symptom in patients. However, if symptoms develop, it may be anyone or combination of the following-


Considering the studies and research reports, doctors may achieve the restoration of normal hematopoiesis, delay in AML transformation and prolongation of patient’s survival free from myelodysplastic syndrome disease based on the mentioned combination of treatment. Especially, myelodysplastic syndrome remission is possible in patients experiencing the combination of refractory anemia and severe thrombocytopenia.


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Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:September 29, 2021

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