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What is Secondary MDS? Everything You Need to Know

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Treatment-related MDS, also known as secondary MDS, makes up a small fraction of cases of MDS. It is most commonly seen in patients who have been previously treated for cancer with chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

During this recorded program on May 26, 2016, Dr. Walker uses case studies to explain and help you understand secondary MDS. She begins by briefly explaining the risk factors and causes involved in developing secondary MDS and defines symptoms you may experience upon diagnosis. Dr. Walker also goes over possible treatment options for secondary MDS such as hypomethylating agents, immunosuppressive therapies, supportive care, and stem cell transplantation.

By the end of this program, you will understand:

  • The difference between primary (de novo) and secondary MDS
  • Factors that could possibly affect treatment response
  • The two general categories of secondary MDS (MDS arising from or associated with another primary bone marrow disorder vs. therapy-related MDS)
  • How to play an active role in your care by monitoring your condition and communicating with your medical team
 To download the transcript for this program:
  • Select Resources tab
  • Download PDF of transcription


  • Alison Walker, MD

    Dr. Walker is currently an assistant professor in the Division of Hematology at The Ohio State University. Her clinical practice includes the care of patients with myeloid malignancies, specifically acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). Her research is centered around drug development for patients with both of these diseases, and she spends much of her time developing and enrolling patients to early phase clinical trials. Dr. Walker earned her MD at the University of Rochester and served her residency and fellowship in Hematology and Oncology there as well.