Age alone should not limit access to stem cell transplants for patients with MDS

Share this article:

Patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) age 66 to 74 years did as well with stem cell transplantation as patients age 60 to 65 years. This research was presented at the 2013 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting, December 7-10, 2013, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

MDS leads to ineffective production of red blood cells in the bone marrow. In some cases, this can progress to bone marrow failure and severe anemia. MDS is diagnosed more frequently in older adults, with a mean age of 71 years at diagnosis. Stem cell transplantation is the only treatment that has the potential to cure MDS, but many patients are not healthy enough to undergo the procedure.

"This is good evidence that age alone should not limit who should get a transplant for MDS," said Gregory Abel, MD, MPH, a medical oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts. "Calendar age is less important than other measures, such as whether a patient is physically fit enough to [survive] a transplant, has a lot of comorbidities, and what his or her performance status is." Abel and colleagues studied the records of 67 Dana-Farber patients aged 60 to 74 who received reduced-intensity conditioning mini-transplants. No statistically significant differences were found in overall survival at 4 years or in 4-year survival without disease progression when recipients age 60 to 65 years were compared with recipients older than 66 years.

Patients in the two age groups also had comparable rates of cumulative incidence of relapse and comparable rates of death not caused by disease relapse. The authors used components of the revised international prognostic scoring system (IPSS-R) to create a method for calculating the risk score to predict 4-year overall survival at time of transplantation. Age was not a significant predictor of overall survival in the two multivariate models. One multivariate model included the IPSS-R and the other included the new score.

Abel said that the study findings "are good news, since patients with MDS tend to be elderly and this is the only curative treatment at the moment for this disease."

Share this article:
You must be a registered member of ONA to post a comment.

Sign Up for Free e-newsletters

Regimen and Drug Listings

GET FULL LISTINGS OF TREATMENT Regimens and Drug INFORMATION

Bone Cancer Regimens Drugs
Brain Cancer Regimens Drugs
Breast Cancer Regimens Drugs
Endocrine Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gastrointestinal Cancer Regimens Drugs
Genitourinary Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gynecologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Head and Neck Cancer Regimens Drugs
Hematologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Lung Cancer Regimens Drugs
Other Cancers Regimens
Rare Cancers Regimens
Skin Cancer Regimens Drugs

More in Web Exclusives

Targeting a unique receptor promising for glioblastoma multiforme

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is one of the most lethal primary brain tumors, but new therapeutic strategies are being investigated.

Screening for Lynch syndrome improves health outcomes at an acceptable cost

Screening families of patients with colorectal cancer for a genetic condition would reduce their risk of developing related cancers, new research has determined.

Outcomes in nonsquamous lung cancer comparable with docetaxel or pemetrexed

The first direct comparison of treating nonsquamous lung cancer with either pemetrexed or docetaxel in addition to cisplatin has shown that the two combinations achieve similar progression-free survival.