Myelodysplastic Syndromes

The myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a group of diseases in which the differentiation of blood cells by the bone marrow is disrupted. There are several types of sub-classifications for MDS; some are referred to as low-risk MDS and may progress more slowly, causing mild to moderate anemia in the short term. Other types are called high-risk MDS, and may cause more severe problems, including evolution to leukemia.

The disease usually strikes older individuals, half the patients being older than 70 years of age. There are two types of MDS, one for which no cause is known, called primary or de novo MDS, and another, called secondary MDS, that follows known and documented exposure to toxins/chemical agents such as benzene, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. The vast majority of patients, constituting approximately 90% of the MDS cases, belong to the primary MDS category, while in less than of 10% cases, the disease is a result of damage to the bone marrow produced by chemicals such as treatment for a prior malignancy. The treatment for MDS varies depending on individual risk and age.

To learn more about the various tests that Genoptix might perform on a suspected MDS, click here.

For more information about myelodysplastic syndromes, visit www.mds-foundation.org.