A large-scale analysis of patients whose myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is related to earlier cancer treatment overturns the notion that all of them have a poor prognosis.
MDS is characterized by a deficiency in the number of blood cells caused by bone marrow that is not functioning correctly.
“MDS patients whose disease springs from earlier radiation, chemotherapy or both treatments are usually told that they have a poor prognosis. But by analyzing survival risk factors in a large patient population, we’ve found these patients fall into good, intermediate and poor prognostic groups,” says study leader Guillermo Garcia-Manero, M.D.
Understanding their differing characteristics will better guide treatment decisions for these patients, he says.
The research team analyzed 1,950 MD Anderson patients treated between 1998 and 2007. It found 438 had been treated for cancer before their MDS diagnosis. Of these, 279 patients who had received chemotherapy, radiation therapy or both were analyzed.
A first round of analysis identified at least 15 factors associated with overall survival when considered as isolated, single variables. Next, the researchers conducted a multi-variable analysis that narrowed factors, reducing those that affect overall survival to seven.
Reported in December 2011 at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology.