October is Breast Cancer awareness month. Breast cancer is a well-publicized condition that can affect both men and women. During this month, we want to also increase awareness of other types of cancer and related syndromes, to increase public awareness and hopefully public contribution to cancer research in general. It is vital that we all unite and donate to cancer research, to enable scientists to perform more experiments and so that we as a society can come closer to understanding and finally eradicating this disease for all.
Myelodysplastic Syndrome is a condition that covers a diverse collection of hematological medical conditions. These conditions involve dyplasia of myeloid blood cells.
This syndrome was formerly called preleukemia and is associated myelogenous leukemia. Associated with this disease are pervasive anemia that is very resistant to standard treatment, which can be to great detriment with pain and lethargy to those affected. This aspect of MDS requires patients to receive frequent blood transfusions.
The disease is progressive and as it worsens, cytopenias tend to occur due to the progressive failure of bone marrow. Unknown to many, within the body stem cells are present. All myelodysplastic syndromes are associated with stem cell disorders.
There are several classes of stem bells, pleuripotent and totipotent cells oft the focus of genetic research and political debate. While established lines of partially developed pleuripotent stem cells that have already received some direction in somatic progress can be effective, the most powerful type of stem cells that can be used in genetic research are totipotent stem cells. These cells are present in fetuses and most numerously available in cases of abortion.
Do disorders such a MDS and others warrant the use of totipotent stem cells in genetic study, if it means progressive diseases such as MDS could be effectively created? Researchers of MDS have revealed some cases of this syndrome are caused by a deletion of chromosome 5′s long arm (chromosome 5q deletion). There are some examples of MDS where this is not the case.
Currently, the course of treatment that seems most successful is chemotherapy followed by allopenic stem cell transplants from the patient being treated by doctors or from a donor.