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Raising the bar for lower-risk myelodysplastic syndromes

Journal Title: 
Leukemia & Lymphoma
Primary Author: 
Venugopal S, Sekeres MA
Venugopal S, Sekeres MA
Original Publication Date: 
Friday, June 30, 2023
Bone Marrow Disease(s): 

Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are broadly categorized as lower- and higher-risk with lower-risk dominated by cytopenias and higher-risk plagued by the risk of transformation to acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The management of MDS utilize a risk-adapted approach aimed at ameliorating cytopenias in lower-risk MDS (LR-MDS) and preventing AML transformation in higher-risk MDS. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is a potentially curative intent therapy in higher-risk MDS; however, it is not routinely recommended in LR-MDS in view of unfavorable risk/benefit ratio. Therefore, the goal of treatment in LR-MDS is aimed at improving the transfusion burden and health related quality of life. Currently, erythropoiesis stimulating agents (recombinant erythropoietin), erythroid maturation agents (luspatercept), disease modifying agents (lenalidomide) and hypomethylating agents are the agents of choice in the treatment of LR-MDS. This review will discuss the current treatment standards, meaningful clinical outcomes, and emerging therapies in LR-MDS.

Keywords: LR-MDS; MDS; TWiTR; imetelstat; lenalidomide; luspatercept.