What is myelodysplastic syndromes (mds)?

Bone marrow disease. MDS is a disease of bone marrow that causes blood precursor cells to have an abnormal appearance ("dysplasia"), and prevents normal production of mature RBC or WBC. This can cause seriously low blood cell counts. It arises from gene mutations acquired during your lifetime, in bone marrow cells. There is a risk that, with additional mutations, it can evolve into acute leukemia.
Definition. The myelodysplastic syndromes (mds) comprise a heterogeneous group of malignant stem cell disorders characterized by dysplastic and ineffective blood cell production and a variable risk of transformation to acute leukemia.
See below... Myelodysplastic syndrome (mds) is a form of bone marrow cancer that is generally less aggressive than leukemia but nevertheless still malignant. Mds usually evolves more slowly then leukemia and sometimes can transform into acute leukemia and become more aggressive and faster evolving.
Bone narrow disease. This is a group of disease that result in bone marrow failure. This can present as anemia or low blood counts. There are several forms of the disorder. Some have long histories and courses and some quickly turn to leukemia. A bone marrow and special test on it are needed to determine the type, treatment, and benefit of treatment.

Related Questions

What are the symptoms of myelodysplastic syndromes (mds)?

It varies. There may be none or the patient may feel tired from anemia, show signs of bruising from low platelets or infections from low white blood counts. Read more...
Variable. The disease may be asymptomatic and can be diagnosed because of abnormal blood tests. Or there can be symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, bleeding, easy bruising and increased infections. Read more...
Bone marrow. The only way to diagnose a myelodysplastic syndrome completely an accurately including prognostic factors is by performing a bone marrow biopsy and aspiration with subsequent multi-pronged assessment: morphology, flow cytometry, cytogenetics, and molecular studies. Some changes in the peripheral blood may suggest mds but a complete diagnosis still relies on bone marrow examination. Read more...
MDS. is sometimes called Refractory Anemia because it causes anemia (low red blood cells) that doesn't get better with iron and vitamin replacement. Anemia makes the skin look pale and causes shortness of breath with exercise, because RBC carry oxygen. MDS may also cause low white blood cells (WBC) which increases the risk infections; and low low blood platelets which causes easy bruising or bleeding. Read more...

What are effective treatments for myelodysplastic syndromes (mds)?

It depends. Treatment of mds will vary according to the clinical situation and a variety of findings on bone marrow such as the percentage of blasts, cytogenetic abnormalities and need for transfusions. Read more...
Treatment options. As mentioned it depends on the clinical situation. Sometimes treatment is just with observation, transfusions when needed. Drugs called growth factors can be used in some situations. There are some chemotherapy drugs that are effective and for aggressive cases a stem cell transplant can be used. Read more...
See below... Myelodysplastic syndromes (mds) represent a group of bone marrow cancers similar to leukemias in many respects but usually with a less aggressive evolution. Like many other types of cancer, treatment includes chemotherapy and sometimes bone marrow transplantation; however, if the mds is low grade sometimes treatment is not necessary, at least not initially (watchful waiting). Read more...

For myelodysplastic syndrome (mds) patients, how does genome sequencing help?

Diagnosis. For certain patients, genomic sequencing can help establish a diagnosis of mds, especially those without large chromosomal abnormalities. In addition, sequencing can be used to help monitor for response to treatment. There are also limited data to suggest that certain mutations can be useful in prognosis. This is an emerging field of medicine and hopefully your oncologist can help guide you. Read more...
MDS Genetics. An MDS patient's gene mutation information is the most powerful info predicting lifespan, progression to leukemia, and response to treatment. Approximately 50% of MDS patients have "normal" chromosome testing results. It wasn't until we started using the much more sensitive genome sequencing technique, that we discovered genetic mutations hiding deep inside the chromosomes. Search: PMID 24030381. Read more...

My dad (85) has myelodysplastic syndrome (mds), hgb recently fell to 9 and red cell count near critical. Getting transfusion and procrit (epoetin alfa). Outlook?

MDS not curable. First transfusion? Or becoming transfusion dependent. Are newer possibilities to help control transfusion requirement. Different subtypes of mds. Would need more specifics. Read more...
Need to start chemo. Ask his oncologist to repeat bone marrow biopsy he may benefit from starting chemotherapy, most mds regimens are very well tolerated in his age group. Read more...

What are the tests for myelodysplastic syndromes?

CBC and bone marrow . Mds is diagnosed with a bone marrow biopsy. The biopsy is examined under the microscope and the chromosomes are analyzed for certain changes. A complete blood count can be used to follow the disease and response to therapy. Read more...
Bone marrow. The only way to diagnose a myelodysplastic syndrome completely and accurately including prognostic factors is by performing a bone marrow biopsy and aspiration with subsequent multi-pronged assessment: morphology, flow cytometry, cytogenetics, and molecular studies. Some changes in the peripheral blood may suggest mds but a complete diagnosis still relies on bone marrow examination. Read more...

Myelodysplastic syndromes are what?

Blood disease. These are a group of blood disorders that cause anemia or problems with the white cells, platelets or all three. There are several different forms that have varied prognosis. Some are very close to leukemia. These are diagnosed on bone marrow testing. There are some damaged chromosomes that can be found with this group of diseases. Some are very treatable, and some not so. Read more...
See below... Myelodysplastic syndrome (mds) is a form of bone marrow cancer that is generally less aggressive than leukemia but nevertheless still malignant. Mds usually evolves more slowly then leukemia and sometimes can transform into acute leukemia and become more aggressive and faster evolving. Read more...

Are some people more prone to getting myelodysplastic syndromes?

Yes. There are some risk factors for myelodysplastic syndrome(mds). People exposed to certain chemotherapy drugs are at increased risk due to damage to the bone marrow dna from some chemo drugs. There is a higher risk of mds as people age. Certain genetic disorders (such as down syndrome) put people at risk for mds. Tobacco use is also associated with an increased risk of mds. Read more...
See below... The elderly are usually more prone to develop a myelodysplastic syndrome (mds). Also, genetic factors play an important role. Exposure to certain chemicals, toxins, and radiation also increases the chance of developing mds. Read more...

My brother has myelodysplastic syndromes. Should I be worried about this?

Possibly. This would depend upon your brothers age, and his risk factors. For instance if he is elderly, and has significant chemical exposure, than no. If he is young, under the age of 50, mds is uncommon and i would seek a second opinion to confirm the diagnosis. If it turns out to actually be mds than yes, you would be at a higher risk. Read more...
Subtypes. There are subtypes. Certain types are more aggressive. There are certain genetic markers which can give you a guide to the prognosis. Read more...
Probably not. Myelodysplastic syndrome (mds) in a first degree relative may slightly increase your overall risk but this is still minimal. Read more...

Are there treatment guidelines for myelodysplastic syndromes?

Yes. Nccn, a nationaly recognized organization publishes guidlines for the treatments of all malignancies including mds. Read more...
Yes. The national comprehensive cancer network publishes guidelines for the treament of myelodysplastic syndromes. Read more...
See below... Myelodysplastic syndromes (mds) represent a group of bone marrow cancers similar to leukemias in many respects but usually with a less aggressive evolution. Like many other types of cancer, treatment includes chemotherapy and sometimes bone marrow transplantation; however, if the mds is low grade sometimes treatment is not necessary, at least not initially (watchful waiting). Read more...