Other Treatments for Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)
Hematopoietic Growth Factors
- Erythropoietin (epoetin, Epogen, Procrit; darbepoetin alfa, Aranesp)
- Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor or G-CSF (filgrastim, Neupogen, pegfilgrastim, Neulasta)
- Granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor or GM-CSF (sargramostim)
- The drug oprelvekin (Neumega) stimulated production of platelets
- Cough, sneezing, or sore throat
- Swelling of face, fingers, ankles, feet, or lower legs
- Weight gain
- High blood pressure if the hematocrit (percentage of packed red blood cells in a given sample of blood) rises too quickly or too high (unlikely in this disease)
- Pain in arms or legs
- Pain in joints or muscles
- Pain in lower back or pelvis
- Skin rash or itching
- Blood clots
- Liver damage
- Brain damage
- Masculinizing effects
- Blood clots, especially when combined with chemotherapy
- Fluid retention
Severe birth defects when taken during pregnancy
- Note : Thalidomide is severely restricted and should never be given to pregnant women.
Immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs)
- Severe, life-threatening birth defects or death of an unborn baby—Because lenalidomide is chemically similar to thalidomide, female patients must not get pregnant four weeks before treatment, must not take lenalidomide during pregancy, and must not take the medication four weeks after pregnancy. Lenalidomide is only available through a restricted, risk-management distribution system called RevAssist.
- Low white blood cell count
- Low platelet count
- Blood clots in the veins and lungs
- Harm to an unborn baby—Women should not become pregnant while being treated with decitabine, and men should not father a child while receiving decitabine and for two months after treatment ends.
- Low red blood cell count (anemia)
- Low white blood cell count (neutropenia)
- Low platelet count (thrombocytopenia)
When to Contact Your Healthcare Provider
Aplastic Anemia and MDS Internation Foundation, Inc. website. Available at: http://www.aamds.org . Accessed July 31, 2007
Castro-Malaspina H, O’Reilly RJ. Aplastic anemia and the myelodysplastic syndromes. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 14th ed. McGraw-Hill; 1998.
Cines DB, Cassileth PA, Kiss JE. Danazol therapy in myelodysplasia. Annals of Internal Medicine. 1985;103:58-60.
Detailed guide: myelodysplastic syndrome. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/CRI%5F2%5F3x.asp?dt=65 . Accessed April 2, 2009.
Drug Facts and Comparisons. 56th ed. Facts & Comparisons; 2001.
FDA approval for decitabine. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/druginfo/fda-decitabine . Accessed April 2, 2009
Koldehoff M, Westerhausen M. 5-Azacytidine treatment for recurrent myelodysplastic syndromes and secondary acute myeloblastic leukemias. Annals of Oncology. 2000;11(suppl 4):96.
Lewis R. Silverman MD. Myelodysplastic syndrome. In: Cancer Medicine . American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.nci.nih.gov/cancer%5Finformation/ . Accessed November 30, 2002.
MDS Foundation website. Available at: http://www.mds-foundation.org/index.html .
MGI Pharma, Inc website. Available at: http://www.dacogen.com/ . Accessed July 31, 2007.
Myeloplastic syndromes. Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation website. Available at: http://www.aamds.org/aplastic/disease%5Finformation/about%5Fthe%5Fdiseases/meylodsyplastic%5Fsynd.php . Accessed April 2, 2009.
National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.nci.nih.gov/ClinicalTrials/results/azacytidine0702 .
Silverman LR. Myelodysplastic syndrome. In: Cancer Medicine. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.nci.nih.gov/cancer%5Finformation/ . Accessed November 30, 2002.
US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov . Accessed July 31, 2007
Vidaza. Vidaza website. Available at: http://www.vidaza.com/2000-hcp-home.aspx . Accessed April 2, 2009.
- Reviewer: Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
- Review Date: 12/2013 -
- Update Date: 01/13/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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