Pioneering bone marrow transplantation – Transplant physicians at the Hutchinson Center and its partner, the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, have reported some of the highest cure rates for MDS patients. The Center’s pioneering research in bone marrow and stem cell transplantation, which has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, was recognized in 1990 when Dr. E. Donnall Thomas received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
Making transplants less toxic – By minimizing the radiation therapy that patients receive before their bone marrow transplant, Hutchinson Center researchers have helped make this lifesaving procedure less toxic and more widely available. Pioneered by Dr. Rainer Storb and colleagues, this “mini transplant" has been shown to yield similar results as traditional bone marrow transplants. Learn more »
Developing radiotherapy – Dr. John Pagel and colleagues are treating patients with targeted radiotherapy that uses molecules called antibodies to carry radiation directly to cells involved with MDS. This promising therapy reduces damage to healthy tissue and is being studied to learn more about its effectiveness.
Investigating new drugs – Dr. Joachim Deeg and colleagues are investigating a new drug called treosulfan, a chemotherapy agent that appears less toxic than an existing therapy known as busulfan and may improve survival.
Using the immune system to fight MDS – Research from Drs. Deeg, Bart Scott and colleagues suggest that abnormal cells in MDS patients release proteins called cytokines that suppress or even kill normal blood cells. This discovery has lead to treatment strategies that block these proteins and modify the patient’s immune system, which improves blood cell counts and helps prevent anemia, infections and bruising.