Trends in incidence, initial treatment and survival of myelodysplastic syndromes: A population-based study of 5144 patients diagnosed in the Netherlands from 2001 to 2010

Avinash Dinmohamed, O Visser, Yvette van Norden, PC Huijgens, Pieter Sonneveld, AA van de Loosdrecht, Mojca Jongen - Lavrencic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Studies with long-term follow-up of patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) based on data from nationwide population-based cancer registries are lacking. We conducted a nationwide population-based study to assess trends in incidence, initial treatment and survival in MDS patients diagnosed in the Netherlands from 2001 to 2010. Methods: We identified 5144 MDS patients (median age, 74 years) from the Netherlands Cancer Registry (NCR). The NCR only includes MDS cases that were confirmed by bone marrow examinations. Information regarding initial treatment decisions was available in the NCR. Results: The age-standardised incidence rate of MDS was 2.3/100,000 in 2001-2005 and 2.8/100,000 in 2006-2010. The incidence increased with older age, with the highest incidence among those aged >= 80 years (32.1/100,000 in 2006-2010). Forty-nine percent of all MDS cases were unspecified. Of all patients, 89% receive no treatment or only supportive care and 8% were started on intensive therapy as initial treatment. Survival did not improve over time. The 5-year relative survival was 53%, 58%, 48%, 38% and 18% in patients with refractory anaemia (RA), RA with ringed sideroblasts, 5q-syndrome, refractory cytopenia with multilineage dysplasia, and RA with excess blasts, respectively. Conclusion: The incidence of MDS increased over time due to improved notification and better disease awareness, and has stabilised since 2007. The classification of MDS seems challenging as almost half of the pathologically confirmed cases were unspecified. The lack of improvement in survival might be explained by the limited availability of therapeutic agents. Therefore, ameliorated management and new treatment options are warranted. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1004-1012
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Cite this