Myelodysplasia is not a single disease, but rather a group of disorders characterized by an inability to produce enough healthy mature blood cells. These disorders are also commonly called myelodysplastic syndromes, or MDS. In addition to causing problems such as anemia, the presence of myelodysplasia is sometimes considered a premalignant condition because a significant number of patients with it develop leukemia. Therefore, early diagnosis and treatment of myelodysplasia may prevent such an outcome.
City of Hope physicians and researchers continue to lead the way in improving diagnosis, treatments and outcomes in patients with myelodysplasia. City of Hope’s strategies address myelodysplasia using sophisticated genetic markers that aid in both diagnosis and treatment, advanced chemotherapy protocols using experimental drugs, and our nationally-recognized stem cell transplantation program, which specializes in “mini” hematopoietic cell transplants, allowing for transplantation in older myelodysplasia patients.
Our patients are cared for by a multidisciplinary team of professionals, including hematologists and oncologists, radiation oncologists, nurses, supportive care specialists, dieticians, therapists, social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists and pharmacists. Each member of the team focuses on individual treatment plans designed to extend life, as well as supportive care to improve the quality of life for patients and their families during the treatment period.
City of Hope’s Clinical and Translational Research Program has had continuous funding for the HCT Program by the National Cancer Institute since 1981. The MDS Foundation recognized City of Hope as a Center of Excellence for MDS in 1998 in recognition of the program’s basic and clinical research – one of only 34 hospitals worldwide to receive this designation.