Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a group of rare and diverse hematopoietic malignancies characterised by molecular abnormalities, causing bone marrow failure and risk of progression to acute myeloid leukaemia. 

MDS can affect people of any age but is most common in the population ages 70 years and older. Approximately 10,000 cases of MDS are reported every year in the US population-based registry. However, it is assumed that MDS cases are underestimated in the registry. 

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In the most recent update to the GlobalData Epidemiology and Market Size Database, GlobalData epidemiologists provided a forecast for MDS that had been adjusted higher to account for the underreporting of cases in population-based registries. 

GlobalData epidemiologists forecast an increase in diagnosed incident cases of MDS in the US from 34,000 cases in 2018 to 46,000 cases in 2028, at an annual growth rate of 3.5%. 

Evidence from the literature supports the assumption that MDS cases are underdiagnosed. According to research in the US by Cogle that was published in Current Hematologic Malignancy Reports in 2015, the incidence of MDS in the 65 years and older population was more than two times higher in Medicare data than in the population-based registry. Similar findings of underdiagnoses were reported in Australia. 

According to the 2014 study by McQuilten and colleagues published in the Cancer Journal, the estimated cases in the Australian state of Victoria, based on modelling was 5,500 from 2003–2010, which was twice as high as the Victoria cancer registry record of 2,700 cases. 

MDS cases in the population-based registries are underreported, as mild or asymptomatic cases are likely to be not included. Thus it is important to explore the other relevant data sources, such as Medicare data. 

Additionally, MDS includes many subtypes with diverse prognosis; it is imperative to study these subtypes separately to understand the comprehensive trends of MDS. Lastly, the increasing elderly population might contribute to the burden of disease, as the risk of MDS increases with advancing age. This demonstrates the urgency of further epidemiological studies on MDS.

Related Reports

GlobalData (2019) Myelodysplastic Syndrome: Epidemiology and Market Size Database, October 2019