National Institutes of Health
- The primary NIH organization for research on Myelodysplastic Syndromes is the National Cancer Institute
Your bone marrow is the spongy tissue inside some of your bones, such as your hip and thigh bones. It contains immature cells, called stem cells. The stem cells can develop into the red blood cells that carry oxygen through your body, the white blood cells that fight infections, and the platelets that help with blood clotting. If you have a myelodysplastic syndrome, the stem cells do not mature into healthy blood cells. Many of them die in the bone marrow. This means that you do not have enough healthy cells, which can lead to infection, anemia, or easy bleeding.
Myelodysplastic syndromes often do not cause early symptoms and are sometimes found during a routine blood test. If you have symptoms, they may include
Myelodysplastic syndromes are rare. People at higher risk are over 60, have had chemotherapy or radiation therapy, or have been exposed to certain chemicals. Treatment options include transfusions, drug therapy, chemotherapy, and blood or bone marrow stem cell transplants.
NIH National Cancer Institute
References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)