Getting treated for myelodysplastic syndromes at City of Hope gives you access to unparalleled treatment options and exceptional care from experts in all aspects of these rare blood disorders. And it means you are the focus of a team of world class scientific leaders that know the newest and best treatments for myelodysplasia.
City of Hope is one of only a few dozen centers in the country that treat diseases like myelodysplasia using a comprehensive approach — by a multidisciplinary team whose sole focus is treating these types of blood disorders. Your care includes regular interaction and input from a team that includes hematologists and hematopathologists — along with nurses, social workers and specially trained support staff. This team brings together deep experience and diverse perspectives — shaped by seeing and treating rare diseases every day — to arrive at the ideal treatment for every patient.
If you have been diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndromes or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, you may request an appointment online or contact us at 800-826-HOPE. Please visit Making Your First Appointment for more information.
City of Hope is recognized internationally for research and breakthrough treatments of blood disorders and cancers. Our Hematologic Malignancies and Stem Cell Transplantation Institute is one of the largest bone marrow and blood stem cell transplant centers in the country, consistently producing some of the best outcomes.
City of Hope has an unmatched reputation for coordinated, compassionate care. For each patient we bring together a broad array of expertise from multiple disciplines and offer leading edge therapeutic options including:
We are designated a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute, and for over a decade, U.S. News & World Report has named City of Hope one of the top cancer hospitals in America.
December 10, 2013
Myelodysplastic syndromes, or MDS, refers to a group of blood disorders that affect approximately 13,000 people in the United States each year, according to the American Cancer Society. In about one-third of cases it develops into leukemia, but is a life-threatening condition on its own.
Myelodysplastic syndromes is an umbrella term describing several blood disorders that begin in the bone marrow. People with MDS are unable to produce the proper amount of mature, healthy blood cells in their marrow.
Parts of the body involved in MDS include:
In patients diagnosed with myelodsyplastic syndromes, blood cells do not mature, and these abnormal cells are either destroyed or take up space in the marrow cavity that would typically be occupied by normal cells. This lack of healthy blood cell development is what leads to symptoms associated with MDS.
Usually there are no early warning signs of myelodysplastic syndromes. In some cases, a routine blood test for some other reason or condition will reveal problems associated with MDS. Some of the most common symptoms of MDS include:
Symptoms of other medical conditions may mirror these. If you are treated for those conditions, or if your symptoms last for several weeks despite medical treatment, you may need further consultation to rule out MDS.
Things that put you at higher risk for getting MDS are called risk factors. Doctors do not know what causes most cases of myelodysplasia, and there is very little that can be done to avoid being diagnosed. Risk factors for MDS include:
There are several types of myelosdysplasia — all related, yet appearing and acting differently in the body. While MDS are rare diseases overall, some types are more commonly diagnosed including:
Myelodysplasic syndromes is group of blood disorders with overlapping features — identifying its different forms is challenging — and since every patient’s disease looks different, getting an accurate diagnosis is important. For these reasons treatment at City of Hope begins with leading-edge diagnostics, performed by world-renowned hematopathologists who are well versed about the entire spectrum of this disease.
Tests used for the most accurate diagnosis of MDS include:
Not all of these tests are required to make an accurate diagnosis of MDS.
A stem cell transplant is the only treatment that can cure myelodysplastic syndromes. City of Hope is a world leader in setting standards for stem cell transplantation and improving long-term outcomes for both children and adults. Using innovative approaches for blood and bone marrow transplantation to treat MDS has led our Hematologic Malignancies and Stem Cell Transplantation Institute to be considered an industry leader with unrivaled survival rates.
City of Hope was among the first facilities to build and develop a transplant program which has performed tens of thousands of procedures since 1976. City of Hope has been recognized for superior survival outcomes — one of the only transplant centers in the United States with such an achievement.
There are different types of treatment for patients with myelodysplastic syndromes. Treatments for MDS, which may be used alone or in combination, include:
These may be paired with drug and other therapies designed to reduce side effects of treatment.
In addition to standard therapies, City of Hope's active clinical trials program is testing new treatments for MDS, including identifying new potential targets for new drugs, therapies designed to reduce the risk of graft-versus-host disease in transplant patients, and reducing the risk of MDS developing into leukemia.
Clinical trials may be an option before, during or after standard treatments for MDS.
City of Hope’s renowned physicians and researchers use the latest in technology and innovation to treat cancer, coupled with an enduring belief in providing unparalleled compassionate care.
Clinical trials – research studies that involve volunteer patients – are a crucial component to developing new, more effective treatments that save lives. Many of today’s standard therapies are based on the results of previous trials, some of which were initiated at City of Hope.
Getting treated for myelodysplasia at City of Hope means you are steps away from labs where new treatments are being developed every day. That proximity means you benefit from something unique — bench to bedside treatment. "Bench to bedside" means innovative research we are conducting in our labs is moved quickly to the bedside to treat our patients.
We are at the forefront of new therapies, and have the technology to identify new potential targets for new drugs. And we offer access to a wide variety of clinical trials not always available to the general public. Our latest research is focused on eliminating graft-versus-host disease in transplant patients, and reducing the risk of MDS developing into leukemia.Browse through some of our clinical trials and research projects.
When you come to City of Hope, you automatically gain access to an unparalleled array of support services to help you and your family take each step in your MDS journey. We can help with all of these concerns, and more:
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Community is an online community of people living with or supporting someone with a blood disorder. Get connected and share your voice to drive change.
Hear musician George Winston talk about his remarkable experience at City of Hope, where he battled and overcame thyroid cancer, basal cell carcinoma, and myelodysplastic syndrome.