Patients with MDS might experience a recurrence, or a return of their myelodysplastic syndrome after a period of remission. Sometimes, even if a patient does not experience a complete remission, a recurrence might be diagnosed if his or her formerly stabilized symptoms and blood counts suddenly worsen.
When a recurrence occurs, it is typically the result of one or more malignant cells that survive in the body after chemotherapy. These cells can continue multiplying and interfering with proper blood cell formation, even after a patient receives a bone marrow transfusion. Among the patients who experience a recurrence, most do so within two years of their bone marrow transplants. However, many patients live healthy lives after their initial course of treatment and never experience an MDS recurrence.
If a patient experiences an MDS recurrence, his or her physician may recommend any of several different treatment options. These include:
- An infusion of donor lymphocytes
- A second course of chemotherapy (typically referred to as salvage chemotherapy)
- A second bone marrow transplant
At Moffitt Cancer Center, our Malignant Hematology Program specializes in the treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes, including those that have recurred after a period of remission. As a high-volume cancer center, we have an unparalleled level of expertise that allows us to devise the best strategies for patients with an MDS recurrence. Additionally, our team is extensively involved in MDS research, including studies to determine which chemotherapy drugs are associated with the lowest rates of recurrence. These efforts have led to Moffitt’s recognition as a Center of Excellence by the Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) Foundation.
To learn more about our approach to MDS treatment, call 1-888-663-3488. If you have been diagnosed with (or suspect that you might be experiencing) an MDS recurrence, you can also submit our new patient registration form; no referral is required.