Wednesday, May 22, 2013

ASH 2012: Dr. David P Steensma: Myelodysplastic Syndrome with a Focus on Secondary MDS in CLL

Dr. David Steensma is a world leader in not only basic laboratory and clinical research on MDS, but also in examining the impact that anemia has on the life of older patients.

MDS or myelodysplastic syndrome is bone marrow failure and in a minority cases, turns into an acute leukemia.

It is not an uncommon complication of CLL, both, as Dr. Steensma explains, secondary to the genetic and epigenetic changes inherent in the disease itself, and to the treatments, especially the alkylating agents that damage the DNA. In CLL, these included chlorambucil (Leukeran), cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan or the C in FCR), and bendamustine (Treanda).

This is a strong argument for younger patients to avoid those drugs known to damage the bone marrow, but Dr. Steensma offers some more subtle analysis and advice.

We also discuss the radiation risk of MDS from all those CT scans we get in clinical trials.

A good friend of mine is now more than two years out post transplant at MDACC for his CLL/MDS combo one-two knockout punch and he is doing great with no molecular evidence of either disease (MRD negative). And very little graft versus disease.  You can read his story at this link.

This is my last video interview from ASH 2012, but ASCO is just around the corner with more news and interviews.

Dr. Steensma clarifies and explains the risk of MDS in simple terms.

Einstein is quoted as saying: "Make things as simple as possiblebut not simpler."

Dr. Steensma does exactly that.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Deb Light said...

Learned alot from this interview as usual.Thank you Brian and Dr. Steensma for giving us your insights into Secondary MDS and it's causes.

God Bless,
Deb

May 23, 2013 at 12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic discussion. MDS is very serious and this discussion educates people on the pitfalls of some chemo treatments.

May 23, 2013 at 1:30 PM  

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