Beacon NewsFlashes – November 13, 2012
Published: Nov 13, 2012 11:03 am
Anemia And Other Diseases Affect MDS Patients’ Quality Of Life – Results of a recent Italian study show that the presence of anemia (low red blood cell counts) and other diseases affect quality of life in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) patients. The study, which included 148 newly diagnosed lower-risk MDS patients, also found that the physicians’ assessment of quality of life in the patients did not correspond with the patients’ own assessment. The study investigators suggest that physicians use patient questionnaires rather than a scoring system to determine patients’ quality of life, which may also help to improve physician-patient communication. For more information, please see the study in the American Journal of Blood Research (abstract).
MDS Patients With FLT3 Mutation May Have Better Survival – Researchers from the MD Anderson Cancer Center have found that MDS patients with mutations in the FMS-like tyrosine kinase III (FLT3) gene had longer median overall survival (19 months) than patients without the mutation (16.4 months); however, the difference was not considered statistically significant. The researchers also found that patients carrying the genetic mutation tended to be younger, have anemia, and up to 20 percent immature bone marrow cells. The FLT3 gene is involved in the formation and development of blood cells. Although about one-third of acute myeloid leukemia patients have FLT3 mutations, only 1 percent of the 1,232 MDS patients included in this study had the mutation. For more information, please see the study in the American Journal of Hematology (abstract).
Low-Level Benzene Exposure May Cause MDS – An analysis pooling information from three studies of petroleum distribution workers from Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom found that low-level benzene exposure may be associated with the development of MDS. High-level benzene exposure can cause acute myeloid leukemia, but, according to the researchers, the effect of low-level exposure is unknown. In the current study, researchers compared cases of acute myeloid leukemia, chronic myeloid leukemia, chronic lymphoid leukemia, myeloproliferative disease, and MDS among 370 total petroleum distribution workers and 1,587 healthy individuals. The results showed a link between low-level benzene exposure and cases of MDS only. For more information, please see the study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (PDF).