Leukemia Insights - Winter 2008
Over the last few years, the care of patients with MDS and the understanding of this disease have improved significantly. This has resulted in the development of new classifications of this heterogeneous group of leukemias as well as in the development of new therapies. New treatment strategies that are now considered standard of care include the hypomethylating agents (5-azacitidine and decitabine) and lenalidomide.
MDS is one of the main areas of research of the Department of Leukemia at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. This is demonstrated by the large number of clinical trials specific for patients with MDS (discussed below) and by extensive basic and translational research focusing on MDS as exemplified by the NIH funded MDS PO1 grant, now in its fourth year. Approximately 300 patients with MDS are evaluated in our center per year by a group of physicians completely dedicated to the care of these patients. Most of this care is provided in close collaboration with the referring physicians, a key aspect for the long-term follow up of these patients most of which are older and require extensive care during therapy for their MDS.
In this Leukemia Insights issue, we describe part of the MDS program at M. D. Anderson with an emphasis on new therapeutic alternatives available at our center.
Guillermo Garcia-Manero, M.D.
Chief, Section of MDS