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Treatments for Myelodysplastic Syndromes

At Sheba Medical Center, our expert oncologists and hematologists work together to make sure you receive the most effective, personalized treatments for myelodysplastic syndromes. Your treatment options will be determined based on the type of MDS you have, your general health, your age, and other variables. Some people with MDS may not require immediate treatment, but will just need to be closely monitored. If you do require treatment, we offer the following integrative therapies at Sheba:


Chemotherapy is the use of oral or intravenous drugs to fight cancer. These chemo drugs enter your bloodstream and thereby reach most areas of your body. Treatment is administered in cycles, and the specific drugs are matched to the type of MDS you have.

Combination chemotherapy

This treatment combines two or more chemo agents in order to increase the probability of killing the cancer. Your Sheba oncologists will strategize to design the most powerful combination of drugs, often called a cocktail. Combo chemotherapy is used as a way to combat the cancer cells’ mutation and development of resistance to drugs.

Immunosuppressive therapy

This type of treatment is used to boost or suppress your immune system. Various types of immune therapies can be used against MDS, and they may be administered in pill form, injected intravenously, or given as a shot.

Supportive therapy – blood transfusions

With MDS, the main goal of treatment is often to prevent problems caused by low blood cell counts. For example, you may require blood transfusions to combat anemia, or we may administer other medications, such as antibiotics, to fight infection. These supportive therapies help prevent or treat the symptoms and complications of MDS, but they are not direct treatments for the disease.

Iron chelation

Receiving blood transfusions over a period of years can lead to a buildup of excess iron in the body, which can affect how different organs function. In order to treat this iron overload, drugs called chelating agents may be given. These drugs, such as deferoxamine and deferasirox, bind with the iron so the body can expel it.

Growth factors

The majority of MDS symptoms result from having too few blood cells. Growth factors can be given (usually as injections) to speed up the body’s process of producing more blood cells in the bone marrow.

Bone marrow/stem cell transplant

A stem cell transplant is the only treatment with the potential to cure MDS. Your doctors will first administer very high doses of chemo to kill bone marrow cells and prevent new blood cells from being produced. Afterwards, new stem cells will be transplanted in order to restore the bone marrow.

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Treatments that Take Care of Your Whole Body

Throughout the entire course of your MDS treatment at Sheba Medical Center, we will take your comfort and quality of life into constant consideration. From diagnosis through your long-term rehabilitation and follow-up, our dedicated team will care for your physical and psychological needs. To help you cope with the challenges of cancer, we offer comprehensive support services – including social workers, alternative therapies, and nutrition counseling.

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Sheba Medical Center provides innovative, personalized medical care to patients from around the world. We are the largest, most comprehensive hospital in the Middle East and dedicated to providing advanced and compassionate medicine for everyone. We welcome all cases, including the rarest and the most challenging. Our medical teams collaborate to provide the best possible health outcomes. From your initial inquiry through the long-term follow-up care, we are here for you.

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