The tactics of dealing with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is developed individually, focusing on the patient's condition. Chemotherapy and immune therapy is usually recommended for patients from the group of medium and high risk. In some cases, such treatment is preceded by bone marrow transplantation.
On the eve of treatment, the patient consults an oncologist. The physician clarifies complaints, conducts clinical examination and prescribes the required tests:
- complete blood count,
- blood chemistry,
- cytogenetic analysis.
Based on the test findings, the optimal dosage regimen is selected.
The patient is hospitalized for a period of 16 days. Hypomethylating drugs increasing the duration and improving the quality of the patient’s life are used for treatment.
The studies of MDS pathogenesis showed that the leading role in the disease development is played by changes in the stem cell DNA. This process leads to the appearance of myeloblasts in bone marrow and impaired hematopoiesis. Hypomethylating agents (azacitidine, decitabine) restore the normal structure of DNA, inhibiting the further formation of tumor cells.
The drugs are administered intravenously. As regards side effects, the patients may report:
- increased body temperature,
- reduction of platelet count, red blood cells and neutrophils.
Symptomatic therapy is prescribed to correct this condition.
Patients at high risk can be indicated low doses of cytarabine, a cytostatic. Therapy is also conducted intravenously under medical supervision by the hematologist. The cost of drugs depends on the treatment intensity.
During treatment, the patients receives meticulous care. After cycle completion, the patient is provided recommendations for further action.