1st International Workshop on Myelodysplastic Syndromes Highlights

The 1st International Workshop on Myelodysplastic Syndromes was held this year in Miami, FL from June 24-26. This in-person event was a convergence of researchers and clinicians to discuss advances in the research and treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). The MDS Foundation, a Patient Worthy partner organization, recently held a panel discussion moderated by Tracey Iraca, the executive director, about highlights from the event.

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.

Highlights From The Program

The panel guests included Rena Buckstein, of the Oretta Cancer Center, Toronto, CA; Rafael Bejar, of UC San Diego; and Valeria Santini, of the University of Florence and MDS Group, Florence, Italy.

A big focus of the workshop was the importance and current state of clinical trials in the disease. Rena emphasizes that trials are the only way for new treatments to be successfully developed that can improve survival and quality of life for patients. A major focus of the conversation around trials was endpoints, and whether the endpoints being considered were the best ones.

Dr. Bejar touched on the importance of selecting trial participants are accurately represent the real-world MDS patient population; trials tend to have a bias towards younger and healthier than average patients. Dr. Santini notes that future trials and treatments should take into account molecular and genetic differences between patients.

To learn more about the highlights from this event, click here.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email