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The survival rate for each myelodysplastic syndrome is slightly different. For instance, studies show that patients with refractory anemia often have very positive outcomes, as do patients with pure sideroblastic anemia. 

Several other factors also contribute to the MDS survival rate. For instance:

  • Patients with a lower count of blasts (immature blood cells) in their bone marrow often have better survival rates.
  • The closer to "normal" a patient’s blood cell counts are, the better their outcomes tend to be.
  • Patients with primary (de novo) myelodysplastic syndromes tend to have slightly better outcomes than patients with secondary (treatment-related) syndromes.
  • Patients who are diagnosed at younger ages often have more favorable prognoses, as do female patients.

While these survival trends reflect the experiences of past patients, they can’t be used to predict how one specific patient will respond to treatment. That's because so many personal factors, both known and unknown, can influence a patient's unique prognosis, and it’s impossible to make a true prediction based solely on the general experiences of other people. Additionally, even the most up-to-date survival information reflects the experiences of patients who were diagnosed with MDS several years ago, when today’s most promising new therapies weren’t yet available.

As one of the founding members of the Bone Marrow Failure Disease Consortium, Moffitt Cancer Center is one of the leading researchers in the field of myelodysplastic syndromes. Funded by the National Institutes of Health, our research team is heavily involved in the development of novel MDS treatments, making better survival rates a reality one study at a time. We provide each patient with an individualized treatment plan based on his or her exact diagnosis and have a high degree of specialization that lends itself to exceptional outcomes and a higher quality of life.