Mayo researchers develop new genetics-based prognostic tool for myelodysplastic syndrome

ROCHESTER, Minn. – Researchers at Mayo Clinic have developed a new genetics-based prognostic tool for myelodysplastic syndrome. Their findings are published in the October print issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

“Myelodysplastic syndrome is one of the most frequent blood cancers affecting the elderly with annual incidence exceeding 50 cases per 100,000 in people 65 years or older,” says Ayalew Tefferi, M.D., a Mayo Clinic hematologist who is the principal investigator and lead author.

Dr. Tefferi says the average survival for patients with myelodysplastic syndrome is estimated at 2½ years, and survival rates have not improved over the past several decades. “Current drug therapy for myelodysplastic syndrome is not curative and is often instituted to palliate anemia and other symptoms,” says Dr. Tefferi. “The only treatment that offers a chance for cure or prolonged survival is allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant. Unfortunately, this procedure is associated with substantial risk of treatment-related death and morbidity, so an accurate and reliable prognostic tool is needed to select suitable patients for transplant.”

Dr. Tefferi says the current prognostic tool for myelodysplastic syndrome is based on the revised international prognostic scoring system. However, the overall value of this system is limited by its complexity


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