Novel therapeutic strategies in myelodysplastic syndromes: Do molecular genetics help?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose of review Many studies over the past decade have together identified genes that are recurrently mutated in the myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). We will summarize how this information has informed our understanding of disease pathogenesis and behavior, with an emphasis on how this information may inform therapeutic strategies. Recent findings Genomic sequencing techniques have allowed for the identification of many recurrently mutated genes in MDS, with the most common mutations being found in epigenetic modifiers and components of the splicing machinery. Although many mutations are associated with clinical outcomes and disease phenotypes, at the current time they add relatively little to already robust clinical prognostic algorithms. However, as molecular genetic data are accumulated in larger numbers of patients, it is likely that the clinical significance of co-occurring mutations and less common mutations will come to light. Finally, mutated genes may identify biologically distinct subgroups of MDS that may benefit from novel therapies, and a subset of these genes may themselves serve as therapeutic targets. Summary Advances in our knowledge of the molecular genetics of MDS have significantly improved our understanding of disease biology and promise to improve tools for clinical decision-making and identify new therapies for patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-87
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent opinion in hematology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • molecular genetics
  • myelodysplasia
  • novel therapeutics
  • prognostic models
  • the myelodysplastic syndromes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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