For the majority of patients with lower-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (LR-MDS), one of the primary clinical goals is to alleviate the symptoms associated with the resultant cytopenias and to minimize the transfusion burden. While supportive red blood cell (RBC) transfusions and erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) may lead to clinical improvement, frequent transfusions are often complicated by iron overload and decreased quality of life; furthermore, most patients either do not respond to ESAs or will eventually develop resistance. As such, there is a great need for further therapeutic options in the management of anemia related to MDS. Several additional therapeutics are now available in select patients with LR-MDS and symptomatic anemia including luspatercept, lenalidomide, and immunosuppressive therapy. Furthermore, several novel agents are currently in development to address this area of clinical need such as imetelstat and roxadustat. In this article, we review the currently available therapeutic options for symptomatic anemia in LR-MDS as well as review the therapeutic agents in development.
- myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS)