The advent of technological development has undoubtedly advanced biological and molecular inputs for better understanding the heterogeneous hematopoietic pre-malignant disorder of the stem cells known as myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). Chromosomal rearrangements, including del(3q/5q/7q/11q/12p/20q), loss of 5/7/Y, trisomy 8/19, i(17q), etc. frequently detected in MDS with variable frequencies and combinations, are the integral components of the 5-tier risk-stratification and WHO-2016 classification. Observations on mutations in genes involved in RNA-splicing, DNA methylation, chromatin modification, transcription factor, signal transduction/kinases, RAS pathway, cohesin complex, DNA repair and other pathways have given insights in independent effects and biological interaction of co-occurrence on disease-phenotype and treatment outcome. However, recent concepts of clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP) and idiopathic cytopenia of undetermined significance (ICUS) have urged a re-definition of mutational events in non-clonal cytopenia and non-MDS healthy elderly but with a higher risk of overt leukemia. Considering gene mutations, chromosomal alterations, CHIP, ICUS and their significance in classification and risk-scoring certainly presents a comprehensive picture of disease-phenotype towards better understanding of MDS-pathogenesis, its evolution to AML and its response to therapeutic agents. The present review summarizes chromosomal and gene mutations, co-existence of mutational complexity, and WHO-2016 classification and risk-stratifications of MDS to facilitate a better understanding of its pathogenesis.
Keywords: CHIP as seeds of leukemia; Chromosomal rearrangements; Classification and risk-stratification; Molecular mutations; Myelodysplastic syndromes.
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