Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) affect more than 30,000 patients in the USA per year, most of whom are elderly, and these diseases are associated with dismal prognoses. The main features of MDS are ineffective hematopoiesis and aberrant myeloid differentiation. Furthermore, MDS are heterogeneous, both clinically and molecularly. This heterogeneity and the frequent occurrence of age-related comorbidities make the management of these diseases challenging. In fact, there have been no new drug approvals for MDS in the USA in the last 9 years, and few currently available investigational drugs are likely to be approved in the near future. Novel targeted treatment based on better understanding of the pathogenesis of MDS is needed to maximize patient outcomes. Here, we discuss new insights into diagnostic accuracy, prognostic assessment, pathogenic mechanisms, and effective treatments for MDS.