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ASCO 2018 | Hypomethylating agents for low risk MDS

Eunice Wang, MD, of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, NY, discusses extending the use of hypomethylating agents from patients with high risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) to individuals with lower risk MDS. Data suggests that ~80% of patients with non-transfusion dependent, low risk MDS have vastly improved response rates upon receiving attenuated 3-5 day courses of decitabine or hypomethylating agents. Thus, Prof. Wang speculates the necessity of waiting for clinically significant anemia and cytopenia prior to starting therapy. Importantly, she notes that conclusions are difficult to ascertain, as patients with low risk MDS often have positive outcomes and a long overall survival, regardless of therapy, citing the subsequent importance of substantial prospective follow up. This interview was recorded at the 2018 American Society of Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, held in Chicago, IL.

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