New features in the classification of patients with myelodysplastic disease


A research group from the Veneto Institute of Molecular Medicine (VIMM) and the University of Padua, coordinated by professors Renato Zambello and Semenzato, published the study Hypocellular myelodysplastic syndromes: from clinical description to immunological characterization in the Italian multi-center experience. The work carried out in collaboration with Valeria Santini (the University of Florence and President of the scientific committee of the Italian Myelodysplastic Syndrome Foundation - FISiM) shows useful immunological characterizations to improve patients affected by myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS).

Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a highly heterogeneous group of blood abnormalities characterized by the increased risk of progression to acute myeloid leukemia. Researchers focused on hypocellular myelodysplastic syndromes (h-MDS) that represent a rare subgroup of MDS. They thus identified the clinical features and molecular markers associated with a longer life expectancy in patients with this disease.

Researcher Giulia Calabretto elaborates, “The novelty of this study concerns the biological mechanisms underlying different clinical behaviors. Specific populations of lymphocytes, called natural killer cells and cytotoxic T lymphocytes, are found in the blood of patients with hypocellular MDS, which could play a crucial role in controlling the disease or rather in promoting its progression.”

Prof Gianpietro Semenzato, Scientific Director of VIMM, concludes, “The discovery opens up important perspectives for treatment, as therapy could be personalized according to a patient’s subgroup that offers accurate and preliminary classification of their disease."