MDS Foundation Announces Two Young Investigator Awards Supporting New Treatment Strategies at the 14th International MDS Symposium

The MDS Foundation, the largest international patient advocacy organization dedicated to finding a cure for myelodysplastic syndromes, has awarded Dr. David Sallman (H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute) and Dr. Yoshihiro Hayashi (Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center) the foundation’s young investigators awards. The grants were announced at the 14th International MDS Symposium being held in Valencia Spain May 3-6, 2017. Over 1200 researchers, clinicians, and patients are attending the scientific meeting.

Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) are a group of diverse bone marrow disorders in which the bone marrow does not produce enough healthy blood cells. MDS is often referred to as a bone marrow failure disorder. MDS is primarily a disease of the elderly (most patients are older than age 65), but MDS can affect younger patients as well. Approximately 10-15,000 patients are diagnosed with MDS in the United States each year. Low blood cell counts are the hallmark feature of MDS and are responsible for the symptoms that MDS patients experience — fatigue, shortness of breath, infection, spontaneous bleeding, or easy bruising. Additionally, approximately 30% of patients with MDS will develop acute leukemia.

Dr. Sallman’s research focuses on understanding genetic changes within the abnormal MDS bone marrow to identify new targets for treatment. His award winning project involves MDS patients with the TP53 mutation, which represents a patient group with the most inferior survival and a lack of treatment options. The grant will support a multi-institution study of the experimental compound, APR-246, which specifically reverses the effects of the TP53 mutation. “My hope is that the combination of APR-246 with azacitidine in MDS patients with TP53 mutation will be a promising therapeutic…

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