New thesis on prognostication for patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)
Maria Creignou from the Hematology Unit (HERM) at the Department of Medicine, Huddinge (MedH) is defending her thesis: "Improving prognostication for patients with myelodysplastic syndromes" on 27 October 2023. Main supervisor is Professor Eva Hellström Lindberg (MedH).
What is the main focus of your thesis?
My thesis is about a disease called myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). MDS is a group of blood cancers. Some MDS behave in a benign manner, but others are significantly more aggressive and can transform into acute leukemia.
The focus of my thesis is to find new markers/tools that can help us to accurately estimate the risk of early death and/or transformation into acute leukemia over time and thus to provide correct information to the patient and choose the right treatment.
Which are the most important results?
In study I we have developed a completely new prognostic scoring system (IPSS-M) that includes all important genetic markers in MDS, and we have shown that IPSS-M improves greatly prognosis estimation compared to the score previously used in clinical practice (IPSS -R).
In study II, we have shown that gene expression analysis/RNA sequencing combined with DNA sequencing provides additional valuable information in terms of prognosis estimation in MDS.
Study III showed that the addition of dynamic variables (transfusion dependency during early disease course) to the IPSS-M further improves the calculation of prognosis in MDS patients.
How can this new knowledge contribute to the improvement of people’s health?
Novel findings in this thesis generally improve estimation of prognosis both at diagnosis and during the course of the disease in MDS patients. This is important to provide accurate information to patients and to support treatment decision.
What are your future ambitions?
I plan to continue working as a hematologist and take care of patients with MDS and other blood cancers. I also hope to be able to continue research in the same field, perhaps with a greater focus on conditions that precede MDS and/or increase the risk of MDS development.