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Update on the Science of Myelodysplastic Syndromes

Jean A. Ridgeway
Lenora Fechter
Cindy Murray
Nuria Borràs
CJON 2012, 16(3), 9-22 DOI: 10.1188/12.CJON.S1.9-22

Scientific research is only just beginning to shed light on the pathobiology underlying the various subtypes of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), a heterogeneous group of clonal stem cell disorders characterized by cytopenias that can progress to acute myeloid leukemia. Increased understanding of the disease and prognostic implications of specific clinical features has aided in the development of prescribing guidelines and new treatments for MDS. Because oncology nurses have frequent interactions with patients during diagnostic and therapeutic evaluations, an understanding of the science behind disease classification, prognostic scoring, and the goals of treatment for low- and high-risk disease is important to answer questions regarding diagnostic results, treatment outcomes, and adverse event monitoring.