Myelodysplastic syndrome (myelodysplasia)
Treatment will depend on your type of MDS, your risk group, and whether you have any other health conditions.
The aim is to get the number and type of blood cells in your bloodstream back to normal, and manage symptoms with supportive treatment (see below).
If your MDShas only a low risk of transforming into cancer, you may not need any treatment at first, and may just be monitored with regular blood tests.
Symptoms of MDS can be controlled with a combination of the following treatments:
Drugs such asanti-thymocyte immunoglobulin (ATG) and ciclosporin reduce the activity of the immune system, allowing your bone marrow to make blood cells. It can also help to control symptoms.
However, these drugs are not suitable for everyoneand work best in young peopleandthose who don'thave a chromosome change associated with their condition.
Ifyou're at ahigher risk of developing AML, you will need prompt treatment with chemotherapy or a stem cell transplant (see below).
Chemotherapyinvolves taking drugs that destroy the immature bloodcells by disrupting their growth. The drugsare taken either as a tablet or an injection.
If you have ahigher risk of developingAML, your chemotherapy treatment will probably be similar to that used to treat AML. Readabout the treatment of AML .
You will probably have one or a combination of the following chemotherapy drugs:
The only way to cure MDS is to have intensive treatment with a stem cell transplant from a donor but this isn't suitable for everyone.
A stem cell transplant will generally only be offered if you areyoung and in reasonably good health (apart from your MDS),as it'sa very intensive treatment.
It helps if you have a suitable donor in your family(a close relative, such as a brother or sister), althoughin some cases, it's possible tohave a stem cell transplant using an unrelated donor with a matching tissue type.
Treatment involves destroying your own bone marrow cells with chemotherapy and sometimes radiotherapy, before having stem cells from a donor fed into your bloodstream via a drip.
Biological therapies work by affecting the way your immune system functions.
Lenalidomide can be used to treat MDS in people with a specific genetic mutation, called an isolated deletion 5q cytogenetic abnormality.
This abnormality can lead to severe anaemia, which requires regular blood transfusions.
The treatment of MDS is constantly evolving and new drugs are being tested all the time.
You may be offeredthe chance to enter a clinical trial. Find out more about:
Myelodysplastic syndrome (myelodysplasia or MDS) is a blood disorder that causes a drop in your number of healthy blood cells.
Normally, bone marrow produces: red blood cells to carry oxygen around your body white blood cells to help fight infection platelets to help your blood to clot In MDS,your bone marrow doesn't ma
The main types of myelodysplasia are: refractory anaemia just the red blood cells are affected refractory cytopenia the red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets are affected refrac
For most people, symptoms are mild at first and slowly get worse.You may initially experience: weakness, tiredness and occasional breathlessness because ofthe low number of red blood cells freq
MDS can affect people of any age, but is most common in people aged 65-70 years. Onlyone infive people with MDS are younger than 50.
In most cases, the causeis unknown this is called primary MDS. However,exposure to the chemical benzene used in the rubber industry, and found in petrol is known to increaseyour risk of developin
MDS is diagnosedby carrying out blood tests and bone marrow tests. Blood tests will show how many normal and abnormal blood cells you have. A bone marrow test is done under local anaesthetic , which
Some people with MDS go on to develop acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) , which is cancer of the white blood cells. This is known as "transformation". According to Cancer Research UK, the risk varies fro
Treatment will depend on your type of MDS, your risk group, and whether you have any other health conditions. The aim is to get the number and type of blood cells in your bloodstream back to normal,
If you have MDS, your clinical team will pass information about you on to the National Congenital Anomaly and Rare Diseases Registration Service (NCARDRS). This helps scientists look for better ways