Mario Lemieux Center for Blood Cancers

Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) Types and Treatments

Myelodysplastic syndromes are a group of diseases in which the bone marrow does not make enough healthy blood cells.

Normally, the bone marrow makes blood stem cells (immature cells) that develop over time into mature blood cells:

In myelodysplastic syndromes, the blood stem cells do not mature into healthy red blood cells. The immature blood cells, called blasts, do not function normally, and die in the bone marrow or soon after they enter the blood.

This leaves less room for healthy white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets to develop in the bone marrow. When there are fewer blood cells, infection, anemia, or easy bleeding may occur.

Types of Myelodysplastic Syndromes

People with myelodysplastic syndromes have too few of one or more types of healthy blood cells in the bone marrow or blood. Myelodysplastic syndromes include the following diseases:

Treatments for Myelodysplastic Syndromes

Treatments for people with myelodysplastic syndromes aim to:

Types of treatments include:

Learn more about myelodysplastic syndromes from the National Cancer Institute.