Researchers Discover Method to Predict Survival in Low-Risk Myelodysplastic Syndromes

A recent study published in Blood Cancer Journal has established a new method for effectively predicting survival outcomes for patients with low-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). The method is known as the Endothelial Activation and Stress Index (EASIX). Prior research has found that people living with this disease face an elevated risk of premature death due to cardiovascular problems. This has been attributed to issues with endothelial function and clonal hematopoiesis.

About Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS)

Myelodysplastic syndromes are a type of blood cancer in which developing blood cells remain immature and fail to transform into usable blood cells. Risk factors for this disease include exposure to radiation, chemotherapy, benzene, xylene, and Agent Orange. Family history is also a risk, as are certain genetic disorders such as Down syndrome. In an individual case, it is rare for the direct cause to be identified. Myelodysplastic syndromes rarely present with symptoms initially, but it can eventually present with anemia, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, cell abnormalities, chromosome abnormalities, enlarged spleen and/or liver, easy bleeding and bruising, and infections. The disease also has the potential to evolve into acute myeloid leukemia. Treatment may include bone marrow transplant, stem cell transplant, blood products, and certain chemotherapy agents. Outcomes in this disease range widely and can depend on a number of factors. To learn more about myelodysplastic syndromes, click here.

About the Study

EASIX was first pioneered in order to predict death or endothelial complications following graft-versus-host disease and allogenic stem cell transplant. The study included a training cohort of 193 patients and a validation cohort of 338 patients. EASIX was assessed in patients with disease ranging from low to high risk. However, the majority of patients evaluated in the study were deemed low risk.

Overall, the scientists found that EASIX was capable of predicting survival in low risk myelodysplastic syndromes patients that were not eligible for transplant. EASIX was especially found to correlate with levels of ANG2. This could allow the measure to be effective regardless of age, gender, or certain disease characteristics, such as bone marrow blast counts or cytogenetic abnormalities.

Implementing EASIX as a tool to inform patient care and predict survival could help improve outcomes for low-risk patients.

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