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Rafael Bejar

Often unrecognized and underdiagnosed, myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a rare group of cancers in which the bone marrow fails to produce sufficient healthy blood cells. Although patients with lower-risk MDS can live for >5 years, those with high-risk disease that evolves into acute myeloid leukemia is associated with significantly lower overall survival. At the NCCN 2019 Annual Congress: Hematologic Malignancies, Dr. Rafael Bejar summarized current standard treatment options for patients with MDS and discussed the importance of genetic testing to identify mutations that may impact treatment. Finally, Dr. Bejar described emerging personalized treatment strategies for the management of this disease.

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Peter L. Greenberg, Richard M. Stone, Aref Al-Kali, Stefan K. Barta, Rafael Bejar, John M. Bennett, Hetty Carraway, Carlos M. De Castro, H. Joachim Deeg, Amy E. DeZern, Amir T. Fathi, Olga Frankfurt, Karin Gaensler, Guillermo Garcia-Manero, Elizabeth A. Griffiths, David Head, Ruth Horsfall, Robert A. Johnson, Mark Juckett, Virginia M. Klimek, Rami Komrokji, Lisa A. Kujawski, Lori J. Maness, Margaret R. O'Donnell, Daniel A. Pollyea, Paul J. Shami, Brady L. Stein, Alison R. Walker, Peter Westervelt, Amer Zeidan, Dorothy A. Shead and Courtney Smith

The myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) comprise a heterogenous group of myeloid disorders with a highly variable disease course. Diagnostic criteria to better stratify patients with MDS continue to evolve, based on morphology, cytogenetics, and the presence of cytopenias. More accurate classification of patients will allow for better treatment guidance. Treatment encompasses supportive care, treatment of anemia, low-intensity therapy, and high-intensity therapy. This portion of the guidelines focuses on diagnostic classification, molecular abnormalities, therapeutic options, and recommended treatment approaches.

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Peter L. Greenberg, Richard M. Stone, Rafael Bejar, John M. Bennett, Clara D. Bloomfield, Uma Borate, Carlos M. De Castro, H. Joachim Deeg, Amy E. DeZern, Amir T. Fathi, Olga Frankfurt, Karin Gaensler, Guillermo Garcia-Manero, Elizabeth A. Griffiths, David Head, Virginia Klimek, Rami Komrokji, Lisa A. Kujawski, Lori J. Maness, Margaret R. O’Donnell, Daniel A. Pollyea, Bart Scott, Paul J. Shami, Brady L. Stein, Peter Westervelt, Benton Wheeler, Dorothy A. Shead and Courtney Smith

The NCCN Guidelines for Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) comprise a heterogeneous group of myeloid disorders with a highly variable disease course that depends largely on risk factors. Risk evaluation is therefore a critical component of decision-making in the treatment of MDS. The development of newer treatments and the refinement of current treatment modalities are designed to improve patient outcomes and reduce side effects. These NCCN Guidelines Insights focus on the recent updates to the guidelines, which include the incorporation of a revised prognostic scoring system, addition of molecular abnormalities associated with MDS, and refinement of treatment options involving a discussion of cost of care.