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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Myelodysplasia
Answer: This is an attempt to "turn on" the marrow which this hormone can do on occasion. There are some potential liver toxicity issues, easily followed. But, if it turns on his marrow, it is worth the risk since we have so few/no drugs that work very well in this situation.
Answer: Myelodysplasia describes a large group of anemias (low blood counts). There is a
classification system called FAB which includes five groups: 1. Refractory anemia. 2.
Refactory anemia with ringed sideroblasts. 3. Refactory anemia with Blasts. 4. Chronic
myelomonocytic leukemia 5. Refactory anemia with Blasts in Transformation. This type of
anemia is usually seen in people over 50 and survival is extremely variable. Occasionally
these transform into a different type of leukemia altogether. Treatment is not aimed at
correcting or preventing the anemia, but support only. This means transfusions as necessary,
treatment of infections, etc. Some patients will respond to pyrodoxine (Vitamin B6) so this is
usually tried. Bone marrow transplantation and stimulation(with epogen) is occasionally
effective. There are different protocols under study by the NIH including human
hematopoietic growth factors, etc.