What is Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MSD)?
Description: Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) is a group of disorders caused by bone marrow failure. There are several subtypes of the disease, including different baseline, diagnosis, treatment options and transformation to leukemia.
What happens? Bone marrow; It is the factory where blood cells containing red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets are produced. Bone marrow is a rather complicated organ with many working parts and processes.
Bone marrow changes in MDS
Dysplasia: A cell has an abnormal shape and appearance (morphology)
Chromosome changes: also known as cytogenetic abnormalities
Changes in the bone marrow support system, also known as microenvironment
Molecular changes in cells or microenvironment
This results in very few cell numbers or low blood count (cytopenia) and cells that do not function properly.
The most common cytopenias are:
Anemia: Red blood cells (oxygen-carrying cells) are low
Thrombocytopenia: low platelet count (cells that help blood clot)
Leukopenia: Low number of white blood cells (WBC) (cells that help fight infection)
Neutropenia: Neutrophil (the most important type of WBC to fight infection) is low
Is Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MSD) Cancer?
Bone marrow biopsy and aspiration are required to diagnose MDS. The sample is analyzed by pathologists (hematopathologist) who specialize in blood diseases.
Specific malignant features such as dysplasia or cytogenetic abnormalities must be found to diagnose MDS. Recent research has identified molecular abnormalities that are thought to play a role in the emergence of MDS. Given the underlying malignant features required to diagnose MDS, MDS is considered a form of blood cancer.
Failure of the bone marrow to produce mature healthy cells is a phased process, and therefore MDS is not always an untreated disease. Some patients succumb to the direct effects of the disease due to bone marrow failure and cytopenia. In addition, approximately 30% of patients diagnosed with MDS progress to acute myeloid leukemia (AML).