New advance in bone marrow disease treatment

In collaboration with the Press Association

A new drug for treating Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), a bone marrow disease that often leads to cancer, is showing promise in clinical trials, according to a new study published in the April issue of the journal Cancer. MDS is one of the most common blood-related cancers in the elderly.

Aside from treating the symptoms (palliative care), treatment for MDS patients who are fit enough involves intensive chemotherapy or bone marrow transplant. However, these treatments are unsuitable for the majority of patients.

Researchers, led by Dr Hagop Kantarjian, of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, found that the drug decitabine kept the disease under control for longer periods when compared to palliative care alone. However, there was no evidence that the drug improved survival rates long-term.

Find out more about Myelodysplastic Syndrome on the Leukaemia Research Fund's website