EU MDS BioGroup
Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) are a heterogeneous group of haematological stem cell disorders resulting in bone marrow failure and blood cytopenias. The severity of the disease depends on a variety of biological factors that translate into a spectrum of symptoms with a profound impact on the patient’s quality of life and survival. With high prevalence in the elderly (median age of 72), the prevalence of MDS is expected to increase in our ageing society. Unfortunately, the causes of MDS remain largely unkwnon and the discordance among diagnostic parameters or difficulties in classifying patients into one of the existing MDS subgroups causes some clinical challenges. As a result, the existing diagnostic of MDS is still based on the effects of the disease process rather than its mechanisms.
Despite recent scientific advances in the field, there
are still no clear disease markers which facilitate diagnosis and
prognosis in clinical practice. The heterogeneity of MDS is the main barrier for the development of more targeted treatments. Moreover, its unique distribution - prevalent in the elderly - makes it difficult for a single team to recruit suficient number of patients in an affordable and time bound manner. The MDS community is well aware of the need to unravel the pathophysiology
of MDS as an essential first step for the selection of relevant
biomarkers for both, diagnostic tools and innovative therapeutics.
The EU MDS
BioGroup was developed as a response to the identified bottlenecks in MDS research.Through this unique multi-stakeholder collaborative effort across
networks of expertise, we aim to increase our understanding of
leukaemogenesis, improve clinical practice and boost drug development to improve the prospects of MDS patients.