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Curr Diabetes Rev. 2016;12(3):231-9.

The Interactions Between Diabetes Mellitus and Myelodysplastic Syndromes: Current State of Evidence and Future Directions.

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Section of Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University, 333 Cedar Street, PO Box 208028, New Haven, CT 06520-8028.


Diabetes mellitus (DM) and cancer are disorders of global importance. Multiple epidemiologic studies show that diabetic patients have an increased risk of developing cancer of different types. Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are among the most common hematologic malignancies and include a heterogeneous group of hematopoietic neoplasms characterized by dysplastic changes, low blood counts, and an increased risk of progression to acute myeloid leukemia. Potential epigenetic and metabolic interferences between DM and MDS have been reported but are poorly understood. DM and MDS share some predisposing risk factors such as obesity. Patients with MDS and DM can experience worsening of diabetic control due to multiple factors that exacerbate hyperglycemia and insulin resistance such as stress, infections, adjunct drugs (e.g. steroids to control nausea), and others. In addition, accurate assessment of glucose control in diabetic patients who have MDS can be complicated. Alternatively, DM when associated with end-organ damage can complicate management of MDS, increase risks of complications, and limit the applicability of intensive therapeutic interventions. Here we review the current knowledge of the interactions between DM and MDS at the pathogenetic, clinical and epidemiologic levels, discuss how this knowledge could be used therapeutically to improve the outcome of patients affected by both conditions, and delineate important unmet needs that should be addressed in future research.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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