Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a group of heterogeneous clonal hematopoietic stem cell disorders. The 2020 Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results data demonstrates the incidence rate of MDS increases with age especially in those greater than 70 years of age. Risk stratification that impact prognosis, survival, and rate of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) transformation in MDS is largely dependent on revised International Prognostic Scoring System along with molecular genetic testing as a supplement. Low risk MDS typically have a more indolent disease course in which treatment is only initiated to ameliorate symptoms of cytopenias. In many, anemia is the most common cytopenia requiring treatment and erythroid stimulating agents, are considered first line. In contrast, high risk MDS tend to behave more aggressively for which treatment should be initiated rapidly with Hypomethylating Agents (HMA) being in the frontline. In those with high risk MDS and eligible, evaluation for allogeneic stem cell transplant should be considered as this is the only potential curative option for MDS. With the use of molecular genetic testing, a personalized approach to therapy in MDS has ensued. As the treatment landscape in MDS continues to flourish with novel targeted agents, we ambitiously seek to improve survival rates especially among the relapsed/refractory and transplant ineligible.
Keywords: High risk; Hypomethylating agents; IPSS-R; Low risk; MDS; Novel therapies; Somatic muations.
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