Treatment Approaches for Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)
Leukemia Insights - Summer 2007
In this issue, we review current treatment approaches for patients with myelodyplastic syndrome (MDS) at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Over the last 3 years, several significant advances have occurred in MDS. These include the approval by the FDA of 3 different treatments: 5-azacitidine (Vidaza), lenalidomide (Revlimid), and 5-aza-2’-deoxycytidine (Dacogen). Although of great significance, complete remissions with these agents are infrequent, and some of these therapies target very specific subsets of patients (i.e. lenalidomide for those with alterations of chromosome 5). Therefore, there is a need to continue to develop new therapies for patients with MDS and to improve current available therapies. Together with advances in therapy, we have also witnessed advances in our understanding of supportive care measures in MDS and in the development of new classification systems. All of these should allow the development of targeted therapeutic approaches for specific subsets of patients with MDS. We are conducting research in these areas and have summarized them below.