Therapy-related MDS dissected based on primary disease and treatment-a nationwide perspective

Leukemia. 2023 May;37(5):1103-1112. doi: 10.1038/s41375-023-01864-6. Epub 2023 Mar 17.


In this population-based study, we aimed to characterize and compare subgroups of therapy-related Myelodysplastic syndromes (t-MDS) and define the implications of type of previous treatment and primary disease. We combined data from MDS patients, diagnosed between 2009 and 2017 (n = 2705), in the nationwide Swedish MDS register, with several health registers. Furthermore, using matched population controls, we investigated the prevalence of antecedent malignancies in MDS patients in comparison with the general population. This first ever nationwide study on t-MDS confirms a shorter median survival for t-MDS compared to de novo MDS (15.8 months vs 31.1 months, p < 0.001). T-MDS patients previously treated with radiation only had disease characteristics with a striking resemblance to de novo-MDS, in sharp contrast to patients treated with chemotherapy who had a significantly higher risk profile. IPSS-R and the WHO classification differentiated t-MDS into different risk groups. As compared with controls, MDS patients had a six-fold increased prevalence of a previous hematological malignancy but only a 34% increased prevalence of a previous solid tumor. T-MDS patients with a previous hematological malignancy had a dismal prognosis, due both to mortality related to their primary disease and to high-risk MDS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Hematologic Neoplasms*
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute* / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary* / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary* / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary* / etiology
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors