Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) represent a heterogeneous group of clonal hematologic neoplasms characterized by morphologic dysplasia, aberrant hematopoiesis and peripheral blood refractory cytopenias. MDS is recognized to be associated with an increased risk of symptomatic anemia, infectious complications and bleeding diathesis, as well as a risk of progression to acute myeloid leukemia, particularly in patients with a high IPSS score. The advent of use of hematopoietic growth factors such as granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and recombinant erythropoietin (EPO) has improved symptoms in MDS patients in addition to some data that suggest there might be an improvement in survival. G-CSF is an effective therapeutic option in MDS patients, and it should be considered for the management of refractory symptomatic cytopenias. G-CSF and EPO in combination can improve outcomes in appropriate MDS patients such as those with lower-risk MDS and refractory anemia with ring sideroblasts (RARS) . This article reviews use of growth factors for lower-risk MDS patients, and examines the data for G-CSF, EPO and thrombopietic growth factors (TPO) that are available or being developed as therapeutic modalities for this challenging disease.