Myelodysplastic syndromes: the complexity of stem-cell diseases

Nat Rev Cancer. 2007 Feb;7(2):118-29. doi: 10.1038/nrc2047.


The prevalence of patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) is increasing owing to an ageing population and increased awareness of these diseases. MDS represent many different conditions, not just a single disease, that are grouped together by several clinical characteristics. A striking feature of MDS is genetic instability, and a large proportion of cases result in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). We Review three emerging principles of MDS biology: stem-cell dysfunction and the overlap with AML, genetic instability and the deregulation of apoptosis, in the context of inherited bone marrow-failure syndromes, and treatment-related MDS and AML.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Apoptosis
  • Humans
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes / chemically induced
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes / epidemiology
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes / pathology*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stem Cells / pathology*


  • Antineoplastic Agents