MDS is the abbreviated form of Myelodysplastic Syndrome i.e. a heterogeneous group consisting of myeloid disorders characterized with peripheral type of blood cytopenias and increased risk related to the transformation to AML i.e. acute myelogenous leukemia. Even a few doctors also consider it a specific type of cancer, as myelodysplastic syndrome constitutes a group of bone marrow and blood disorders.

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Furthermore, if a patient suffers from myelodysplastic syndrome, his/her stem cells fail to mature as per the expectations. This results in an increase in numbers of blasts i.e. immature cells and dysplastic cells i.e. abnormally developed cells. Even myelodysplastic syndrome results in reducing the exact number of healthy yet matured cells in your blood resulting in malfunctioning of bone marrow.

Who Is At Risk For Myelodysplastic Syndrome?

Until now, doctors have found the following major factors related to increasing the risk of an individual to develop myelodysplastic syndrome -

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Age Of An Individual. Myelodysplastic syndrome usually takes place in patients exceeding 60 years age and it is relatively less common in young people. Other than this, myelodysplastic syndrome problem occurs rarely in kids or children.

Gender Of A Person. If we talk about the gender factor associated with myelodysplastic syndrome, men are highly prone to develop the syndrome as compared to women.

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Exposure To Occupation Or Environmental Hazards. Long-term exposure to tobacco smoking, benzene, insecticides and various other toxins are responsible to increase the risk related to the development of myelodysplastic syndrome.

Radiation Treatment Or Chemotherapy. About 20 percent of individuals, develop myelodysplastic syndrome because of receiving radiation therapy or chemotherapy in the past. In this case, doctors refer myelodysplastic syndrome as secondary type of myelodysplastic syndrome.

Myelodysplastic Syndrome And Genetic Factors. In most of the cases, myelodysplastic syndrome does not take place in inherited way i.e. passes from a parent to the child in a family. However, in some cases, genetic variations increase the risk of a person to develop myelodysplastic syndrome. (1)

To calculate the prognosis of myelodysplastic syndrome patients based on risk factors, doctors often use scoring systems. In most of the cases, scoring systems comprise of the analysis of peripheral cytopenias i.e. percentage of blasts present in one’s bone marrow and cytogenic features. In general, doctors use IPSS i.e. International Prognostic Scoring System to calculate both myelodysplastic syndrome risk factors and prognosis.

Therapy To Cure Myelodysplastic Syndrome As Per The Level Of Risk/Risk Factors

In most of the cases, doctors select the therapy to cure myelodysplastic syndrome based on transfusion requirements, risk factors and the exact percentage of mutational as well as cytogenetic profiles and bone marrow blasts. Moreover, therapy goals vary a lot based on whether a patient is at high risk or a low one. If a patient remains at low risk, doctors reduce the transfusion requirements and in turn, to boost the survival rate. On the other side, if a patient remains at high risk, goal of the therapy involves achieving prolonged survival.

Until now, doctors have adopted following major therapies in patients, which include support to the growth factor, hypomethylating agents, lenalidomide, transplantation of allogenic stem cell and intensive chemotherapy. Lenalidomide therapy has proved to be effective in patients with low risk related to the disease, as patients succeed to manage their problems related to anemia and alteration in the chromosome 5.

Decitabine and 5-azacitidine have proved to be active in both high-risk and low risk of myelodysplastic syndrome. However, 5-azacitidine has shown drastic improvement in the survival rate among high-risk based myelodysplastic syndrome patients. A large number of new lesions may even act as effective therapeutic targets or help in the selection of already existing agents. Besides this, you will find a few additional supportive treatment options, like iron chelation and the application of prophylactic antibiotics. (2)

References:

  1. https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/myelodysplastic-syndromes-mds/risk-factors
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29214694

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: May 16, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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