Myelodysplastic Syndromes - MDS: Latest Research

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 05/2023

ON THIS PAGE: You will read about the scientific research being done now to learn more about myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and how to treat them. Use the menu to see other pages.

Doctors are working to learn more about MDS, ways to prevent it, how to best treat it, and how to provide the best care to people diagnosed with this disease. The following areas of research may include new options for patients through clinical trials. Always talk with your doctor about the best diagnostic and treatment options for you.

  • New drugs and drug combinations.Researchers are looking at treatments with the following:

    • Azacitidine given by mouth and in combination with other drugs

    • Decitabine in combination with other drugs

    • Lenalidomide in patients who do not have abnormalities of chromosome 5

    • Drugs called histone deacetylase inhibitors

    • Drugs called polo-kinase inhibitors

    • Different approaches to bone marrow/stem cell transplantation

    • Antibodies that activate the immune system, such as antiCD47

      Some of these medications, such as azacitidine, decitabine, and lenalidomide, have already been approved by the FDA for the treatment of MDS and are now being evaluated in different doses and schedules and in combination with other drugs.

  • Palliative and supportive care. Clinical trials are underway to find better ways of reducing symptoms and side effects of current MDS treatments to improve patients’ comfort and quality of life. For instance, read about a 2023 study about treating anemia in people with lower-risk MDS.

Looking for More About the Latest Research?

If you would like more information about the latest areas of research in MDS, explore these related items that takes you outside of this guide:

The next section in this guide is Coping with Treatment. It offers some guidance in how to cope with the physical, emotional, and social changes that MDS and its treatment can bring. Or, use the menu to choose another section to continue reading this guide.