Myelodysplastic Syndromes in Adolescent Young Adults: One Institution's Experience

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk. 2016 Aug;16 Suppl:S53-6. doi: 10.1016/j.clml.2016.02.022.


Introduction: There has been little improvement in cancer survival of adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients, aged 18 to 39 years, possibly reflecting different disease biology. Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is mainly a disease of the elderly. The characteristics, outcomes, and response to treatment are not well described in the AYA population.

Patients and methods: This was a retrospective review of patients from the Moffitt Cancer Center MDS database. We compared baseline characteristics and outcomes of the AYA population to older patients. We identified 51 AYA and 1897 older MDS patients. More female subjects and Hispanics were noted in AYA group.

Results: The AYA patients had higher risk disease, more circulating myeloblasts, and more hypoplastic MDS. Autoimmune disorders were more prevalent in older patients. The median overall survival (OS) was 47 months in the AYA group versus 40 months in the older group (P = .26). The median OS was 47 versus 56 months in lower risk AYA group and older group, respectively (P = .46). In the higher risk group, median OS was 82 months in the AYA group compared to 17 months in the older group (P = .001). Thirty individuals (59%) underwent allogeneic stem-cell transplantation in the AYA group versus 241 (13%) in the older group. The median OS for transplanted patients was 55 months in the AYA group and 46 months in the older group (P = .4). In the nontransplanted patients, median survival was 31 months for the AYA group and 39 months for the older group (P = .9). The rate of acute myeloid leukemia transformation was 37% versus 28% in the AYA and older groups, respectively (P = .17). No differences in use or response to hypomethylating agents were observed. Lenalidomide therapy was seldom used in AYA, as none presented with del5q. In AYA, poor karyotype was the only variable strongly associated with worse outcome. Fifteen patients had poor risk karyotypes (29%). The median OS was 47 months, not reached, and 29 months among patients with good, intermediate, and poor risk cytogenetics, respectively (P = .035).

Conclusion: MDS is rare and tends to be more aggressive in the AYA population. Karyotype was the most important prognostic factor. Allogeneic stem-cell transplantation offered younger patients the best outcomes.

Keywords: AYA; MDS; Myelodisplasia.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Combined Modality Therapy / methods
  • Disease Management
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes / diagnosis*
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes / mortality
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes / therapy*
  • Prognosis
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult