Rami S. Komrokji, MD, clinical director, Hematologic Malignancies, Moffitt Cancer Center, discusses the risk factors for developing myelodysplastic syndromes(MDS).
Komrokji says the majority of the time, physicians don’t know why patients develop MDS. Researchers think that it is due to the process of aging and different environmental factors. There are also certain genetic components linked to MDS, but these are very rare. Smoking can also lead to the development of MDS, Komrokji says.
Patients can also develop MDS from being treated for chemotherapy for other diseases. Although researchers originally thought MDS from chemotherapy had to do with the damage of stem cells, Komrokji says new evidence suggests that these patients might have genetic alterations that make them predisposed.
Komrokji says there are no preventive measures set up for MDS, but perhaps in the future, researchers can better understand the disease and better identify patients who might be predisposed to developing this disease.