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Clinical Management of Anemia in Patients with Myelodysplastic Syndromes: An Update on Emerging Therapeutic Options

Authors Lewis R, Bewersdorf JP, Zeidan AM

Received 14 November 2020

Accepted for publication 13 January 2021

Published 25 January 2021 Volume 2021:13 Pages 645—657

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CMAR.S240600

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Beicheng Sun


Russell Lewis, Jan Philipp Bewersdorf, Amer M Zeidan

Department of Medicine, Section of Hematology, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA

Correspondence: Amer M Zeidan
Department of Medicine, Section of Hematology, Smilow Cancer Center at Yale New Haven Hospital, 333 Cedar Street, PO Box 208028, New Haven, CT 06520-8028, USA
Email amer.zeidan@yale.edu

Abstract: For the majority of patients with lower-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (LR-MDS), one of the primary clinical goals is to alleviate the symptoms associated with the resultant cytopenias and to minimize the transfusion burden. While supportive red blood cell (RBC) transfusions and erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) may lead to clinical improvement, frequent transfusions are often complicated by iron overload and decreased quality of life; furthermore, most patients either do not respond to ESAs or will eventually develop resistance. As such, there is a great need for further therapeutic options in the management of anemia related to MDS. Several additional therapeutics are now available in select patients with LR-MDS and symptomatic anemia including luspatercept, lenalidomide, and immunosuppressive therapy. Furthermore, several novel agents are currently in development to address this area of clinical need such as imetelstat and roxadustat. In this article, we review the currently available therapeutic options for symptomatic anemia in LR-MDS as well as review the therapeutic agents in development.

Keywords: myelodysplastic syndrome, erythropoiesis-stimulating agents, novel agents, clinical trials

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