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Myelodysplastic Syndrome Treatment

Our Treatment Approach

As one of the world’s largest leukemia programs, we see more people with myelodysplastic syndrome than most oncologists or cancer centers. This level of experience and expertise can make a difference in the success of your treatment.

Approximately 300 patients with myelodysplastic syndrome are evaluated in our center each year by a group of physicians completely dedicated to the care of these patients. Personalized treatment is provided in close collaboration with referring physicians, a key aspect of the extensive, long-term follow-up care that often is necessary during the course of myelodysplastic syndrome.

Myelodysplastic Syndrome Treatments

We offer the most-advanced treatments for myelodysplastic syndromes, including numerous clinical trials of innovative treatments, many of which are not found elsewhere. Through our groundbreaking research, we have pioneered many new therapies for MDS, and we are constantly working toward new and better ways to help patients with this disease.

Lower-risk myelodysplastic syndrome patients are treated initially for the specific complications of the disease, such as anemia and low blood counts. If more aggressive therapy is needed, strategies that are considered standard of care include chemotherapy using hypomethylating agents (5-azacitidine and decitabine) and lenalidomide.

Higher-risk myelodysplastic syndrome patients usually need more aggressive therapy, but much depends on the age and condition of the patient. Younger patients with high-risk disease are considered for front-line chemotherapy approaches followed perhaps by allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

For older patients, intensive chemotherapy is rarely considered. Instead, our strategy focuses on development of active and safe treatments for newly diagnosed patients as well as those for whom the standard of care based therapies has not been effective.

If you have been diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, we’re here to help. Call 1-877-632-6789 to make an appointment or request an appointment online.

Why Choose MD Anderson?

  • Internationally known myelodysplastic syndrome program
  • More experience with myelodysplastic syndrome than most centers
  • Close collaboration with referring physicians
  • Innovative myelodysplastic syndrome therapies, including access to new agents and “mini” stem cell transplants
  • Clinical trials of new treatments for myelodysplastic syndrome that may not be available elsewhere
  • Myelodysplastic syndrome is part of MD Anderson's Moon Shots Program: an ambitious effort to reduce cancer deaths through the rapid discovery of new treatments

Myelodysplastic Syndrome Knowledge Center

Treatment at MD Anderson

Myelodysplastic syndrome is treated in our:

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Our Myelodysplastic Syndrome Clinical Trials

Jasmin Philip, RN

Jasmin Philip, R.N., prepares a chemotherapy treatment. MD Anderson
is working to develop new targeted therapies to treat myelodysplastic syndrome. 

Myelodysplastic syndrome is one of the main areas of research of the Department of Leukemia. This is demonstrated by the large number of clinical trials for patients with myelodysplastic syndrome and by the extensive basic and translational research exemplified by our National Institute of Health-funded MDS P01 grant to increase our understanding of the disease.

Find out more about MD Anderson clinical trials for myelodysplastic syndrome. You can also visit our Clinical Trials database or speak to your doctor.


© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center