Friday, December 18, 2009

The Most Common Leukemia?

For many years, CLL has ‘reigned’ with the title of ‘most common leukemia in the Western world.’ That title may be in jeapordy, though, if recent trends continue. Already some say that the title has already fallen to another contender. What is this mystery leukemia that seemingly has come out of nowhere to grab the crown? Myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS.

Perusing the ASH abstracts, a number of papers caught my eye, including this one: The authors say that “Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are becoming the most commonly diagnosed forms of leukemia in the US .” Also, consider this very interesting paper that asserts that MDS may be afflicting over a hundred thousand Americans:

One reason MDS might be increasing in frequency is that it can arise as a result of chemotherapy for other cancers, including fludarabine-containing regimes such as FCR for CLL. As cancer patients live longer (always a good thing, of course) other cancers will make their presence known, unfortunately.

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