Myelodysplastic Syndrome

Myelodysplastic syndrome (also known as myelodysplasia or MDS) is a set of disorders characterized by abnormalities in myeloid stem cells, which are responsible for making red blood cells, platelets and certain kinds of white blood cells. For people with myelodysplastic syndrome, these stem cells do not mature properly, resulting in less healthy blood cells in the body. This can lead to anemia, weakened immune system, poor blood clotting and other complications.
Myelodysplastic syndrome is also sometimes considered a pre-cancer, and patients diagnosed with a MDS disorder may be at greater risk for leukemia .
Nationally Ranked Cancer Center
The Hematologic Malignancies and Stem Cell Transplantation Institute at City of Hope, which has earned the elite designation of Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute, is a leader in the research and treatment of myelodysplastic syndrome.  With our decades of experience, specialized therapy protocols and extensive program of clinical trials, newly diagnosed or relapsed patients can find a treatment regimen that is tailored to their disease and gives them the best chance for survival. USNews & World Report also named City of Hope as one of the top cancer hospitals in the country for the 11th year.
Our physicians treat the following types of myelodysplastic syndrome disorders, including:
  • Refractory anemia
    • Refractory anemia with ring sideroblasts
    • Refractory anemia with excess blasts
  • Refractory cytopenia
    • Refractory cytopenia with multilineage dysplasia
    • Refractory cytopenia with unilineage dysplasia
  • Myelodysplastic syndrome associated with del(5q) abnormality
  • Secondary myelodysplastic syndrome
  • Unclassifiable myelodysplastic syndrome
City of Hope's Hematologic Malignancies and Stem Cell Transplantation Institute Institute has long been a leader in developing promising new combinations of chemotherapy drugs, stem cell transplant procedures and other therapeutic options for patients with myelodysplastic syndrome.
  • City of Hope pioneered innovative transplant regimens that have improved the cure rate for patients with myelodysplastic syndrome and other hematologic disorders.
  • City of Hope performs both autologous (using cells from the patient) and allogeneic (using cells from a matched donor) stem cell transplants.
  • For patients who cannot tolerate a standard stem cell transplant regimen, City of Hope physicians can also perform a non-myeloablative stem cell transplant (also known as a “mini transplant”) that can treat the disease without the toxicity or side effects associated with a conventional transplant.
  • Our transplant program is accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT), the standard of excellence for blood and bone marrow transplant programs in the United States.
  • In addition to our world-renowned transplant program, City of Hope also offers the broadest range of therapeutic options available for treating myelodysplasia conditions, including chemotherapy, use of growth factors to stimulate blood cell production and specialized transfusions to restore blood cell counts to normal levels.
In collaboration with other departments and cancer centers, City of Hope’s myelodysplasia program has an active portfolio of myelodysplasia clinical trials studying novel treatments against the cancer, including trials of new chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation regimens that are more effective against the disease and/or less toxic to the patient. Many of these promising therapies are only available to patients being treated at the City of Hope.
City of Hope physicians and researchers are particularly involved in new cancer drugs that can more effectively treat myelodysplastic syndrome disorders and stem cell transplant regimens that can minimize risk and severity of potential side effects.
If you have been diagnosed with a myelodysplastic syndrome disorder or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient or contact us at 800-826-HOPE.