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Improving outcomes for people with MDS

In this trial, the team want to test two new treatments in people with MDS to see if they can improve symptoms and overall quality of life.

The challenge

Almost 2,000 people are diagnosed every year in the UK with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a type of blood cancer which affects the production of blood cells. For some people with MDS, their cancer can turn into an aggressive type of leukaemia called acute myeloid leukaemia. When this happens, it can be incredibly difficult to treat. In addition to this, many people who have MDS who are classified as ‘low risk’ have access to clinical trials, despite the disease still having a poor outcome for many.

The project

This trial wants to change this and will use existing drugs and see if they can improve things for people with low and intermediate risk MDS. They will do this by trying to improve blood cell production in these people. The trial will take two treatments already used for other purposes and will repurpose them for people with MDS.

Danzol, a steroid treatment, will be trialled, as well as another drug combination which includes an epilepsy medication, a cholesterol lowering drug and a female contraceptive.

The future

If these drugs are shown to work, it could reduce the need for patients to get frequent blood transfusion which can impact their quality of life. Ultimately, the hope is that new treatments could improve survival for people with MDS.