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Here's where you'll find a regularly updated, broad range of articles written by the AAMDSIF team, allied health organizations and news organizations. By staying well-informed, patients and families are practicing a form of self-support that will help them be more effective self-advocates when engaging with health care providers.

Benefits of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation in Advanced Myelodysplastic Syndromes

Originally Published: 11/20/2020
Among fit older adults with advanced myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), survival is significantly improved when transplantation is performed early or for adverse risk disease but not for patients with standard risk disease with severe cytopenia, according to study results published in Leukemia. For patients with MDS, the median age at the time of diagnosis is approximately 70 years, and patients typically have an overall survival of 1 year in advanced disease. Although the only known curative therapy is HSCT, the study authors noted...

Seventh International Bone Marrow Failure Scientific Symposium - Summary for Patients

Originally Published: 11/18/2020
We are pleased to present this Summary for Patients of the Seventh AAMDSIF International Bone Marrow Failure Scientific Symposium held virtually on July 15, 16 & 17, 2020. Our Symposium brought together many of the worldʼs leading experts on the biology and treatment of aplastic anemia, myelodysplastic syndromes, paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, acute myeloid leukemia and related disorders. Despite the virtual format due to the coronavirus pandemic, our registration was higher than ever, with over 750 participants from 38 nations. The Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation...

What's New? Foundation Update Newsletter November 2020

Originally Published: 11/18/2020
Discover all the news for November! For you in this issue:   Make your Gift count | More 2020 Webinars | Caregivers Month | New drug approvals | Vendig Family Story | PNH Clinical Trial Recruiting | NIH Survey

Human and artificial intelligence to illuminate MDS

Originally Published: 11/12/2020
In this issue of Blood, Nagata et al show for the first time that machine learning (ML) algorithms can discern patterns and identify diagnostically and prognostically relevant associations between genetic variants and cytomorphological changes in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), correlations that are too subtle or complex for the human eye to observe. We know about many phenotype-genotype correlations in hematology, including PML-RARA and the classic hypergranular abnormal promyelocytes of acute promyelocytic leukemia, germline GATA2 mutations, and myelokathexis. In MDS, examples include the...

New Strategies Improve Outcomes for Lower-Risk MDS

Originally Published: 11/04/2020
Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a challenging and complicated disease with median outcomes ranging from 5.3 years in patients with lower-risk disease to just 8.4 months in the very high-risk population.1,2 However, newly approved agents entering the armamentarium are providing better outcomes for patients with MDS, especially for those with lower-risk disease. Gail J. Roboz, MD, professor of medicine and director of the Clinical and Translational Leukemia Program at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University and the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, detailed potential causes and risk...

Beat AML Master Clinical Trial Showcases Paradigm Shift With Precision Medicine

Originally Published: 10/28/2020
Delaying treatment for up to 7 days so that genomic data can be utilized to inform a personalized treatment approach is safe, feasible, and can improve overall survival in patients with acute myeloid leukemia. John C. Byrd, MD Delaying treatment for up to 7 days so that genomic data can be utilized to inform a personalized treatment approach is safe, feasible, and can improve overall survival (OS) in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), according to results from the Beat AML Master clinical trial (NCT03013998) published in Nature Medicine.1 Results showed that the trial met its...

Outcomes of patients with hematologic malignancies and COVID-19: A systematic review and meta-analysis of 3377 patients

Originally Published: 10/28/2020
Key Points Adult patients with hematologic malignancy and COVID-19 have a 34% risk of death, while pediatric patients have a 4% risk of death. Patients on systemic anti-cancer therapy had a similar risk of death to patients on no treatment (RR 1.17, 95% CI 0.83-1.64). Outcomes for patients with hematologic malignancy infected with COVID-19 have not been aggregated. The objective of this study was to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis to estimate the risk of death and other important outcomes for these patients. We searched Pubmed and EMBASE up to August 20, 2020, to identify...

Fresh vs. frozen allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell grafts: A successful timely option

Originally Published: 10/27/2020
Cryopreservation of grafts has been established in autologous and cord blood transplantation, yet there is little experience regarding the effect of cryopreservation with sibling and unrelated grafts. We evaluated the effect of cryopreservation of grafts on allogeneic transplant outcomes using related, unrelated and haploidentical donors, including 958 patients, age 18‐74 years (median 55) and using PBSC for various hematologic malignancies. Fresh grafts were received by 648 (68%) patients, 310 (32%) received cryopreserved. There was no difference between fresh vs cryopreserved grafts for...

Does Cancer Chemotherapy Increase My Covid Risks?

Originally Published: 10/07/2020
By Mikkael A. Sekeres, M.D. Oct. 7, 2020 Q. I have cancer and am being treated with chemotherapy. Am I at increased risk of getting sick and dying from Covid-19? A. People with cancer, and particularly those with leukemia, seem to have a higher death rate from Covid-19 than the general population, though cancer chemotherapy does not appear to further increase the risk of dying from Covid. Studies, however, have been limited and results are sometimes difficult to interpret. Many types of chemotherapy work by disrupting the cancer cell’s machinery that allows it to divide and grow so rapidly...
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