Lower-risk MDS patients benefit from novel drug, imetelstat

Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a heterogenous group of clonal haematopoietic disorders that carry a risk of progression to acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). Patients are stratified into risk groups due to the heterogeneity of the disease, which is also exemplified by median overall survival (OS) of 8.8 years for very low risk, and 0.8 years for very high risk patients. Due to symptoms such as anaemia, supportive red blood cell (RBC) transfusions are needed in 80-90% of patients during their disease course, although RBC dependence has been shown to be an adverse prognostic marker.