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MDS, Transplantation, Elderly
The incidence of myeloid malignancies, including myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) increases with age. While several therapeutic modalities have been developed, for most of these patients the only treatment with curative potential is allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). The development of reduced/low intensity transplant conditioning regimens allows to successfully transplant patients in their ‘60s and even ‘70s, although comorbidities may determine who does come to transplantation and who does not. Also, as many as half of the patients will develop graft versus host disease (GVHD), even with HLA matched donors, requiring therapy for extended periods of time, and GVHD and treatment with glucocorticoids is likely to impact the quality of life. Nevertheless, dependent upon disease stage at HCT, the presence of comorbidities and the regimen used, 30% to 50% of patients 60 years of age or older, may survive long-term cured of their disease. Future studies should focus on the incorporation of non-transplant modalities into the overall transplant approach, the prevention of GVHD, and the utilization of immunotherapy to reduce the incidence of relapse and GVHD and further improve overall transplant success.