Mayo Clinic, USA
Aref Al-Kali has completed his M.D. degree from Damascus University. He did his internal medicine training at North Eastern Ohio University in Youngstown, followed by hematology and medical oncology training at Oklahoma City Oklahoma. He did 1 year of research at Cleveland Clinic and one year of leukemia sub-fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center. He is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic and is a Clinical Investigator in MDS and AML. He has published several papers in reputed journals and serves as a reviewer for many hematology journals.
Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are clonal but heterogenous group of diseases that are characterized by dyshematopoiesis and the possible progression to acute myeloid leukemia. Despite the advancement of science, our current therapies are still far behind with mediocre responses. Nevertheless, three drugs have been approved for MDS patients over the last 10 years and a lot more are under development. Azacitidine and decitabine are considered first line treatments for high risk MDS while lenalidomide is used for low risk MDS with chromosome 5q deletion. However, the gap is for low risk disease and relapsed high risk disease do exist. Many trials are undergoing with three diff erent routes. First is oral formulation of available injectable drugs approved for MDS. The second include combination therapy, while the third include novel therapies.