MDS staging is used to assign a risk category to a patient’s condition, which in turn helps physicians determine which treatments are most appropriate. Patients with low-risk syndromes, for instance, may benefit from daily medications to help increase their red blood cell counts, while patients with higher-risk syndromes may require blood transfusions or stem cell therapy. At Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida – just a short drive away from St. Petersburg – we offer today’s latest advances in MDS treatment, and staging is just one of the tools that our experienced oncologists use to determine which therapies to recommend to each patient.
The standard system for MDS staging is the International Prognostic Scoring System (IPPS), which uses the following factors to determine the risk level of a myelodysplastic syndrome:
- The amount of hemoglobin, neutrophil and platelets in the blood
- The percentage of blasts, or immature blood cells, in the bone marrow
- Whether chromosomal abnormalities are observed in the bone marrow, and if so, which ones
Another MDS staging system, the Word Health Organization (WHO) classification-based system, takes into account a patient’s dependence on blood transfusions, along with the chromosomal abnormalities and specific type of syndrome with which the patient has been diagnosed.
Both MDS staging systems assign numerical scores to each individual factor, then combine the numbers into a single stage. The syndrome can then be classified as low risk, intermediate risk or high risk.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, our pathologists and hematology oncologists perform MDS staging assessments for patients from St. Petersburg and many other nearby areas. We have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating a wide range of myelodysplastic syndromes, from low to high risk and everything in between. A multispecialty team of oncologists oversees each patient’s treatment, and our tumor board meets each week to review complex cases.
Our team can provide you with more information about MDS staging and how the stage of your syndrome can influence your treatment. To learn more, call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online; no referral is required. To make the trip from St. Petersburg, FL, easier on you and your family, our team can help you arrange the logistics of your visit.