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Treatment for myelodysplastic syndrome?

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Posted on Fri, 26 Jul 2013
Question: What are some successful treatments for myelodysplastic syndrome?
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Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga (1 hour later)
Hello and thank you for sending your question.

Your question is a very good one and I will work on providing you with some information and recommendations.

As you may know there are not a lot of very good treatments for myelodysplastic syndrome. One particular treatment which has been used more frequently recently is Revlimid Which is particularly indicated in a case where a patient has a chromosomal abnormality called 5q minus. In the absence of this chromosomal abnormality this treatment will not work very well.

For many patients close observation is extremely important. Seeing a hematologist every couple of months is usually how most people are followed. If blood counts drop transfusion may be needed sometimes.
If the disease progresses there are some chemotherapy drugs which can be used to help maintain remission. Unfortunately this is not a disease which can be cured. Some patients can be followed for many many years with minimal need for treatment. Every person is unique which is why it is important that a hematologist be involved in providing care.

Thanks for sending your question. Please let me know if you have any additional specific concerns.
Dr Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Shanthi.E
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Follow up: Dr. Robert Galamaga (21 hours later)
How often should blood be withdrawn when receiving this diagnosis?
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Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga (1 hour later)
Hello again,

Initially I check blood work every 4 to 8 weeks. If blood counts are very stable I might increase the interval. If there is concern regarding a trend in decrease of any of the blood counts we might check every two or four weeks.

Dr Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Follow up: Dr. Robert Galamaga (16 hours later)
What if he was in the hospital with fever rising and falling and receiving blood transfusions?
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Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga (7 hours later)
Hello again. If he was in the hospital with fever first of all the main goal would be to find out the underlying cause. If there is infection going on appropriate antibiotic therapy is indicated.

In the setting of infection blood counts can fluctuate significantly. After the infection is treated close monitoring would be indicated. Again this would involve periodic office visits and blood tests to again find a baseline of blood counts from which the hematologist can continue to follow.

Dr Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Shanthi.E
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Follow up: Dr. Robert Galamaga (14 hours later)
Thank you, You have been very helpful.
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Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga (19 hours later)
Thank you again. It has been a pleasure helping you learn more about your health concern. Please contact me anytime with any additional questions.

Dr Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vasanth
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Dr. Robert Galamaga

Oncologist

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 2636 Questions

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Treatment for myelodysplastic syndrome?

Hello and thank you for sending your question.

Your question is a very good one and I will work on providing you with some information and recommendations.

As you may know there are not a lot of very good treatments for myelodysplastic syndrome. One particular treatment which has been used more frequently recently is Revlimid Which is particularly indicated in a case where a patient has a chromosomal abnormality called 5q minus. In the absence of this chromosomal abnormality this treatment will not work very well.

For many patients close observation is extremely important. Seeing a hematologist every couple of months is usually how most people are followed. If blood counts drop transfusion may be needed sometimes.
If the disease progresses there are some chemotherapy drugs which can be used to help maintain remission. Unfortunately this is not a disease which can be cured. Some patients can be followed for many many years with minimal need for treatment. Every person is unique which is why it is important that a hematologist be involved in providing care.

Thanks for sending your question. Please let me know if you have any additional specific concerns.
Dr Galamaga