Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS)
Moores Cancer Center is an MDS Center of Excellence, designated by the Myelodysplastic Syndromes Foundation.
It is one of just six in California and the only one in San Diego County.
MDS Center of Excellence
As an MDS Center of Excellence, you receive the highest level of care throughout your cancer journey, including:
- Experienced hematopathologists to ensure you receive an accurate diagnosis
- Physicians dedicated to caring for patients with MDS and their families
- State-of-the-art genetic testing to personalize your treatment options
- Opportunities to participate in therapeutic clinical trials and MDS research programs
- Access to advanced stem cell transplantation techniques
- Warm and knowledgeable MDS care team
MDS can be difficult to diagnose and an accurate diagnosis is crucial for effective treatment. A bone marrow aspirate and biopsy are typically required to diagnose your condition. Our dedicated hematopathologists, Elizabeth Broome, MD, and Huan-You Wang, MD, PhD, focus solely on diagnosing blood and bone marrow disorders and have decades of experience between them.
Personalized Cancer Care
Treatment Tailored to Your Cancer
Our physician-researchers identified gene mutations that can help establish a diagnosis, predict response to treatment, and affect the survival of patients with MDS. Working with our Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy, we now use genetic sequencing to determine which treatments are best suited for each person's unique cancer.
Comprehensive Treatment for MDS
Depending on whether you have a low-risk or high-risk form of MDS, your care plan may include one or more of the following:
- Active observation without therapy
- Blood transfusions
- Growth factor therapy to increase red blood cell production (usually erythropoietin or granulocyte colony-stimulating factor)
- Lenalidomide (Revlimid) for those with chromosome 5q deletion
- Immune suppression for individuals with features of aplastic anemia
- Supportive drug therapy, which may include antibiotics to fight infections or medications to help reduce the need for transfusions
- Azacitidine (Vidaza), or decitabine (Dacogen) for high-risk disease
- Blood and marrow transplantation (BMT)
Rafael Bejar, MD, PhD, is a physician-scientist who both cares for MDS patients and runs a research laboratory dedicated to studying MDS. He is an expert on diagnosing and treating these disorders and is passionate about discovering ways to personalize your treatment plan. If your care requires a blood and marrow transplant, Dr. Bejar works closely with your BMT team to deliver the highest level of care.
Second Opinion Services
When you have a diagnosis as serious as cancer, you deserve a second opinion on your treatment options.
Advancing Cancer Prevention & Care
UC San Diego Health physicians are actively researching ways to improve cancer care. By joining a clinical trial, you may receive a new cancer treatment before it is available to the public. If your cancer has not responded to standard therapies, talk to your doctor about whether a clinical trial could be right for you.
Patient & Family Supportive Services
At UC San Diego Health, your care goes beyond treating disease. It also includes supporting you and your loved ones emotionally during your cancer journey. Most of our support services are free.