How is myelodysplastic syndrome treated?
Treatment options for myelodysplastic syndrome include:
- Blood and marrow transplant - This procedure replaces diseased hematopoietic stem cells with healthy ones. You may be a good candidate for a blood and marrow transplant if you are under the age of 75 and in good health. The procedure requires a matched marrow donor.
- Blood transfusions - This procedure treats the symptoms of MDS. Red blood cells can be injected into your bloodstream to treat severe anemia. Blood platelets can be injected to treat bleeding problems.
- Medicines - Your doctor may also prescribe medicines to treat MDS symptoms, including antibiotics for infections and drugs that stimulate blood cell production.
- Chemotherapy - If you are not a candidate for a blood and marrow transplant, your doctor may prescribe certain chemotherapy drugs that help the body make normal blood cells.
- Immunotherapy - Immunomodulatory or immunosuppressive drugs can be used to manage some cases of MDS. These medicines stimulate an immune response to improve blood cell counts.
- Acute leukemia treatment - Some cases of severe MDS are treated in the same manner as acute leukemia. Your doctor may prescribe this type of treatment on its own or to prepare you for a blood and marrow transplant.
Immunotherapy is an advanced cancer treatment that helps your body’s immune system fight cancer. It can be an effective way to treat blood disorders and is one of the most promising innovations available today for the treatment, cure and prevention of certain blood cancers like multiple myeloma, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Hodgkin disease.
Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Bone marrow is the tissue inside your bones that produces red and white blood cells and platelets. If you experience a blood disorder, a bone marrow transplant, also known as a stem cell transplant, can be used to replace your damaged blood cells with healthy, blood-forming stem cells.
The Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation program at Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health South Florida provides advanced treatment options to patients with blood cancers like leukemia, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Hodgkin disease, or Hodgkin lymphoma.
A multidisciplinary team of cancer experts including surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, plastic reconstructive surgeons, pathologists, radiologists, genetic counselors, medical geneticists, social workers, patient navigators and clinical trials staff meet weekly to discuss select complex cases and determine the best course of care. Stem cell transplantation experts and hematologic oncology experts are also available to discuss complex cases.
Miami Cancer Institute can provide access to clinical trials not widely available elsewhere. Clinical trials find new ways to treat and diagnose cancer and are ongoing. If an appropriate trial is available, we will talk to you about the benefits and risks.
Patient Support Services
Taking care of the whole patient is an important component of providing personalized cancer care. Integrated into the fabric of the Miami Cancer Institute, the Cancer Patient Support Center addresses the psychological, physical, social and spiritual needs of our patients during cancer treatment and beyond.