Myelodysplastic Syndrome Progression Informed by Post-Treatment Mutation Sequencing

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Targeted sequencing can provide insights into the effectiveness of myelodysplastic syndrome treatment (MDS) and the likelihood that the cancer-related conditions will recur, according to new research published online today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“A genetic analysis is a much more precise method of measuring how many blood cells are cancerous,” senior author Matthew Walter, a researcher at the Washington University School of Medicine, said in a statement. “It also lets us find abnormal cells at earlier time points after a stem cell transplant, when there are fewer cancerous cells to find. The earlier we can detect that the cancer is coming back, the more time we may have to intervene.”

Walter and his colleagues used enhanced exome sequencing on matched bone marrow and normal skin samples to identify pre-treatment mutations in MDS in 90 individuals treated at Washington University over more than a decade, from 2002 to 2015. When they searched for the characteristic mutations with error-corrected sequencing a month after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, the investigators saw one or more suspicious somatic mutations in more than one-third of the patients.

The team noted that the risk of post-treatment MDS progression tended

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