Send to

Choose Destination
Expert Rev Hematol. 2018 Sep;11(9):715-726. doi: 10.1080/17474086.2018.1503049. Epub 2018 Aug 22.

Immunosuppressive therapy in myelodysplastic syndromes: a borrowed therapy in search of the right place.

Author information

a Division of Hematology/Medical Oncology, Department of Medicine , Yale University School of Medicine , New Haven , USA.
b Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy, and Effectiveness Research (COPPER) Center , Yale University , New Haven , USA.


Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) encompass a heterogenous collection of clonal hematopoietic stem cell disorders defined by dysregulated hematopoiesis, peripheral cytopenias, and a risk of leukemic progression. Increasing data support the role of innate and adaptive immune pathways in the pathogenesis and disease course of MDS. The role of immunosuppressive therapy has an established role in the treatment of other hematologic diseases, such as aplastic anemia whose pathogenesis is postulated to reflect that of MDS with regards to many aspects of immune activation. Areas covered: This paper discusses the current understanding of immune dysregulation as it pertains to MDS, the clinical experience with immunosuppressive therapy in the management of MDS, as well as future prospects which will likely improve therapeutic options and outcomes for patients with MDS. Expert commentary: Though limited by paucity of high quality data, immunomodulatory and immunosuppressive therapies for the treatment of MDS have shown meaningful clinical activity in selected patients. Continued clarification of the immune pathways that are dysregulated in MDS and establishing predictors for clinical benefit of immunosuppressive therapy are vital to improve the use and outcomes with these therapies.


IST; Immunosuppression; MDS; immunosuppressive; myelodysplastic syndrome

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center