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Nat Rev Cancer. 2007 Feb;7(2):118-29.

Myelodysplastic syndromes: the complexity of stem-cell diseases.

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  • 1Department of Leukemia, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77030, USA. sjcorey@mdanderson.org


The prevalence of patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) is increasing owing to an ageing population and increased awareness of these diseases. MDS represent many different conditions, not just a single disease, that are grouped together by several clinical characteristics. A striking feature of MDS is genetic instability, and a large proportion of cases result in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). We Review three emerging principles of MDS biology: stem-cell dysfunction and the overlap with AML, genetic instability and the deregulation of apoptosis, in the context of inherited bone marrow-failure syndromes, and treatment-related MDS and AML.

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