Patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) who were as old as 74 fared as well with stem cell transplantation as did patients in the 60-to-65 age range, according to a study from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology.
"This is good evidence that age alone should not limit who should get a transplant for MDS," said Gregory Abel, MD, MPH, a medical oncologist at Dana-Farber. "Calendar age is less important than other measures, such as whether a patient is physically fit enough to get through a transplant, has a lot of comorbidities, and what his or her performance status is."
MDS comprises several types of bone marrow failure causing severe anemia.
Abel, senior author Edwin P. Alyea, III, MD, and their colleagues analyzed the Dana-Farber experience over 10 years with reduced-intensity conditioning "mini-transplants" in patients with MDS, a group of bone-marrow disorders that generally develop in older adults. The mean age at diagnosis is 71. Transplantation is the only potentially curative treatment for MDS in any age group, but many patients are not healthy enough to undergo the procedure.
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