Reblozyl for MDS
- Reblozyl can treat anemia associated with a specific type of MDS called MDS with ring sideroblasts.
- You are diagnosed with MDS with ring sideroblasts if you have more than 15% of ring sideroblasts in the bone marrow.
- Reblozyl has been show to reduce the number of blood transfusions patients with MDS with ring sideroblasts require. Too many blood transfusions can cause a build up of iron in major organs, which can cause complications.
You are diagnosed with MDS with ring sideroblasts if you have more than 15% of ring sideroblasts in the bone marrow, or more than 5% ring sideroblasts if they contain a mutation called SF3B1. Ring sideroblasts are early red blood cells that have a ring-like deposit of iron around the nucleus (where DNA is stored) of the cell which can be seen under a microscope. The percentage of ring sideroblasts in your bone marrow is determined via a bone marrow biopsy in which a small sample of the bone marrow inside your bones is removed for testing. This type of MDS causes significant anemia, or a reduction in the number of red blood cells. Anemia can cause fatigue, exhaustion and shortness of breath.Read More
“So it’s a significant decrease in the necessity of blood transfusions and their anemia improved and their hemoglobin or red blood cells level have also improved,” Dr. Choi says.
Reblozyl is not chemotherapy. It is a biotherapy. Because ring sideroblasts are immature and dysfunctional red blood cells, Reblozyl works as an artificial protein that allows immature and dysfunctional red blood cells to mature into a more normal type. “It’s (a molecule) that targets particular proteins in the blood cells,” Dr. Choi says.
Side effects include:
- Allergic reaction
“But in general this therapy is much more tolerable compared to chemotherapy,” Dr. Choi says.
It is also easier to give because it is injected under the skin every 3 weeks, as opposed to being an intravenous (IV) infusion.
Rebloyzl is the first and only drug of its kind, and is offered to patients with very-low, low, or intermediate-risk MDS with ring sideroblasts, who require two or more transfusions every 2 months despite other medications. Talk with your doctor to see if you are eligible.
Contributing: Dr. Jerry Lee
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