One strategy for scientific progress in MDS would be to break the disease down into different disorders or syndromes— much as the REAL (Revised European American Lymphoma Classification) classification does for lymphoma. However, although most patients are not readily classified in this way, some particular syndromes do exist amongst the MDS. These include the 5q- syndrome, the 17p- syndrome, CMML with t(5;12), and ATMDS. The central problem of MDS is its genetic heterogeneity. Fortunately, we now have the technology to achieve a better understanding of the genetic and biochemical basis for this heterogeneity, and this in turn will lead to improved therapies.
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