Stages & Treatment of Myelodysplastic/Myeloproliferative Neoplasms

Stages of Myelodysplastic/Myeloproliferative Neoplasms

There is no standard staging system for myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasms. Staging is the process used to find out how far the cancer has spread. Treatment is based on the type of myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasm the patient has. It is important to know the type in order to plan treatment.

Treatment

Different types of treatments are available for patients with myelodysplastic /myeloproliferative neoplasms. Some treatments are standard (the currently used treatment), and some are being tested in clinical trials. Four types of standard treatment are used:

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. When chemotherapy is taken by mouth or injected into a vein or muscle, the drugs enter the bloodstream and can reach cancer cells throughout the body (systemic chemotherapy). When chemotherapy is placed directly into the spinal column, an organ, or a body cavity such as the abdomen, the drugs mainly affect cancer cells in those areas (regional chemotherapy). The way the chemotherapy is given depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated. Combination chemotherapy is treatment using more than one anticancer drug.

Other Drug Therapy

13-cis retinoic acid is a vitamin -like drug that slows the cancer’s ability to make more cancer cells and changes the way these cells look and act.

Stem Cell Transplant

Stem cell transplant is a method of replacing blood -forming cells that are destroyed by chemotherapy. Stem cells (immature blood cells) are removed from the blood or bone marrow of the patient or a donor and are frozen and stored. After the chemotherapy is completed, the stored stem cells are thawed and given back to the patient through an infusion. These reinfused stem cells grow into (and restore) the body’s blood cells.

Supportive care

Supportive care is given to lessen the problems caused by the disease or its treatment. Supportive care may include transfusion therapy or drug therapy, such as antibiotics to fight infection.  

Clinical Trials

A clinical trial is a research study meant to help improve current treatments or obtain information on new treatments for patients with cancer. When clinical trials show that a new treatment is better than the standard treatment, the new treatment may become the standard treatment. Patients may want to think about taking part in a clinical trial. Some clinical trials are open only to patients who have not started treatment. New types of treatment are being tested in clinical trials.  

Targeted Therapy

Targeted therapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs or other substances to attack cancer cells without harming normal cells. Farnesyltransferase inhibitors are one type of targeted therapy that is being studied in the treatment of JMML.

Follow-up

Some of the tests that were done to diagnose the cancer or to find out the stage of the cancer may be repeated. Some tests will be repeated in order to see how well the treatment is working. Decisions about whether to continue change, or stop treatment may be based on the results of these tests. This is sometimes called re-staging. Some of the tests will continue to be done from time to time after treatment has ended. The results of these tests can show if your condition has changed or if the cancer has recurred (come back). These tests are sometimes called follow-up tests or check-ups.
Source:
National Cancer Institute http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/mds-mpd/patient