Myelodysplastic Syndromes

The UNMC Eppley Cancer Center at The Nebraska Medical Center
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Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) represent myeloid clonal hemopathies with relatively heterogeneous spectrums of presentation. The major clinical problems in these disorders are morbidities caused by patients' cytopenias and the potential for MDS to evolve into acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Managing MDS is complicated by the generally advanced age of patients, attendant non-hematologic comorbidities, and older patients' relative inability to tolerate some therapies. In addition, when the illness progresses into AML, these patients experience lower response rates to standard therapy than patients with de novo AML. Important changes from the 2008 version of the guidelines include the addition of lenalidomide as a possible treatment for symptomatically anemic non-del(5q) patients whose anemia does not respond to initial therapy.

For the most recent version of the guidelines, please visit

The University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) Eppley Cancer Center ( is a partnership of UNMC, the Eppley Institute for Cancer, and The Nebraska Medical Center.

The Center integrates research and education with patient care to offer the most up-to-date treatments for a variety of cancers. This unique collaboration between The Nebraska Medical Center cancer physicians and UNMC researchers allows discoveries made in the laboratories to be taken directly to the patient.

A National Cancer Institute-designated Clinical Cancer Center and founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), the Center has extensive interdisciplinary research and therapy programs in lymphoma, stem cell transplantation, gastrointestinal and pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and aerodigestive cancers. Center Director Kenneth H. Cowan, MD, PhD (second photo on cover), is a leading breast cancer clinician and researcher. He joined the Center in 1999 after 21 years with the National Cancer Institute.

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