In the last few years, three new drugs have been approved for the treatment of MDS. We have many options for treatment and decide on treatment based on the risk classification of the disease. The main goal of MDS treatment is to increase the number of healthy cells in the blood (blood count). Another goal in patients with higher risk disease is to prevent the transformation of MDS to leukemia.
All patients with MDS (even those receiving other treatments) eventually require supportive care to help alleviate or prevent symptoms from low blood counts. Supportive care includes the use of blood and platelet transfusions for patients with dangerously low red blood cell and platelet counts, as well as antibiotics to treat infections. These treatments may help to improve the blood counts temporarily and to reduce or eliminate symptoms from the low blood counts, but they do not fix the underlying cause.
There are many approaches used in the treatment of MDS depending on the type of MDS and severity of the disease.