The nationally recognized subspecialists at the OSUCCC – James believe the best way to treat patients and manage their disease successfully is to deliver the latest, most effective treatments available and to work with nationally and internationally renowned experts to develop the newest and best myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) treatments and programs.

Because these renowned subspecialists understand that MDS is a complex disease, they use the most effective means of treating patients through an expert team approach from across multiple medical disciplines. These teams also run groundbreaking studies, and through detailed observations, evaluate the latest treatments and targeted therapies.

The OSUCCC – James team of experts also analyzes the genetic composition of each individual’s disorder to determine the best possible treatment.

Myelodysplastic Syndrome Treatment Options

The OSUCCC – James is a leader in offering some of the world’s most advanced, sophisticated care and treatments for myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) patients.

The OSUCCC – James subspecialists will recommend either supportive care or one or more of the following treatments based on your individual needs to manage your MDS:

Transfusion Therapy (Supportive Care)

Red blood cells are transferred, or transfused, into the patient’s bloodstream to help reduce shortness of breath and fatigue. Platelets can be transfused into the bloodstream to help reduce the risk of serious bleeding.

ESA (Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agent) Therapy (Supportive Care)

An ESA is a substance that stimulates, or prompts, the bone marrow to make more red blood cells. These agents are used to treat anemia and other MDS symptoms, and they may lower the number of blood transfusions needed.

Antibiotic Therapy (Supportive Care)

MDS patients may receive antibiotics to help treat infections. They are also often advised to stay out of crowds and away from people with colds and other infectious diseases.


For MDS patients who have a specific chromosomal abnormality, lenalidomide is a therapy that is especially effective for improving a patient’s red blood cell count and helping the patient become free of needing transfusions.


Chemotherapy destroys abnormal cells or stops them from dividing. Chemotherapy drugs can be taken by mouth or injection. When the drugs enter the bloodstream, they can reach unhealthy cells throughout the body (called systemic chemotherapy). Combination chemotherapy uses more than one drug.

Chemotherapy treatment usually takes place in an outpatient part of the hospital, at your doctor's office or in your home. Some people may need to stay in the hospital for treatment.

Chemotherapy with Stem Cell Transplant

Stem cells, which are immature blood cells, are removed from the blood or bone marrow of the donor, and can be frozen and stored until the time of the transplant.

Patients who receive a stem cell transplant are treated first with chemotherapy and then receive an infusion of stem cells that are gathered from a donor. These stem cells then generate new red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets that replace the unhealthy blood cells.

If a stem cell transplant is needed, the OSUCCC – James has one of the most active, sophisticated programs in the entire nation.

(Source: National Cancer Institute)

Myelodysplastic Syndrome Research & Clinical Trials

For blood disorder patients, clinical trials mean hope.

The OSUCCC – James has hundreds of open clinical trials at any given time, with some of the world’s latest discoveries available to clinical trial patients right here in Columbus, Ohio. In fact, patients have access to more of this nation’s leading-edge, targeted treatments and drugs than at most hospitals in America.

Who Should Participate in a Clinical Trial?

Patients can enter clinical trials before, during or after starting their individual treatments.

The OSUCCC – James is one of only a few U.S. cancer centers funded by the National Cancer Institute to conduct phase I and phase II clinical trials on novel anticancer drugs. These trials go only to centers that demonstrate an exemplary capacity for research and clinical care, the expertise to deliver the latest in treatments and the infrastructure to interpret and track treatment results. Find a trial now.

If you have received a myelodysplastic syndrome diagnosis, or if you want a second opinion or just want to speak to a blood disorder specialist, we are here to help you. Call 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment.

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The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute

460 West 10th Avenue

Columbus, Ohio 43210

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