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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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Department of Leukemia, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


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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