Myelodysplastic Syndromes: From Mild-Mannered to Lurking Leukemia
Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) are challenging clonal hematopoietic neoplasms, with respect to a complex disease biology, an older patient population in whom maintenance of quality of life and minimization of treatment side effects must be balanced with drug efficacy, and a limited arsenal of available treatment options. The therapeutic landscape is changing rapidly, though, reflecting the improved understand of the processes driving MDS.
Dr. Mikkael Sekeres will address “risk” as a default staging system in MDS. He will then cover established and new therapies for lower-risk MDS patients with isolated cytopenias or multiple affected cell lines, including defining responses to those therapies that are clinically meaningful.
Dr. Rena Buckstein will discuss the clinical challenges of predicting survival, toxicity and drug tolerability in the older patient population that constitutes MDS. She will summarize the evidence that supports the incorporation of frailty, disability and comorbidity into existing prognostic models and review available indices for use. Dr. Buckstein will provide recommendations for incorporating these in the clinic routinely and highlight areas for future research.
Dr. Guillermo Sanz will address the benefits and limitations of treatment alternatives for higher-risk patients with MDS, including hypomethylating agents and allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. He will summarize the results of recent clinical trials with novel drugs and combinations in this setting and will highlight the potential improvement in outcomes that could result from our better understanding of the molecular and immunological bases of MDS.
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