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New scoring for MDS survival developed

Dec. 24, 2007 at 7:00 PM   |   Comments

HOUSTON, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- U.S. cancer specialists are identifying patients with a form of leukemia, who appear to have a low-risk disease but have poor prospects of survival.

The lead author, Dr. Guillermo Garcia-Manero of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, has been developing a new scoring system for myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS.

The study, published online in the journal Leukemia, finds the absence of certain demographic and molecular markers are linked to survival.

"We know an undefined group of MDS patients who are classified as low-risk by our present prognostic models will at some point have a sudden worsening of their disease," Garcia-Manero said in a statement.

The study finds a combination of older age, low platelet counts, anemia, a higher percentage of cancerous cells in the bone marrow and aberrant chromosomes divided the 856 study participants into three clearly defined groups: The researchers find:

-- Category 1 with 182 patients with few of these characteristics and a median survival of 80.3 months.

-- Category 2 with 408 patients having an intermediate score and a median survival of 26.6 months.

-- Category 3 with 265 patients having high scores and a median survival of 14.2 months.

© 2007 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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