A recent study with new insight about telomeres may provide researchers with a new way to develop treatments or prevent a group of blood cell disorders called myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS).
“Researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have discovered a direct link between telomere degeneration and MDS.
Degrading telomeres can sometimes lead to MDS, also thought to be associated with age, gender (more common in men), smoking, previous cancer treatment with radiation or chemotherapy, and family history. MDS is one of the more common blood disorders in the elderly with 90 percent of cases affecting people over age 60.
‘MDS risk correlates with advancing age, therapy-induced DNA damage, and/or shorter telomeres, but whether telomere erosion directly causes MDS is unknown,’ said Simona Colla, Ph.D., assistant professor of Leukemia. ‘Our study provided genetic evidence that DNA damage caused by telomere loss is linked to this disorder.’
‘This study established an intimate link across telomere biology, aberrant RNA splicing and CMP differentiation,’ said DiPinho, M.D., professor of Cancer Biology and MD Anderson president. ‘This may suggest that strategies to mitigate this DNA damage may be useful for preventing and/or treating MDS.'” – News Medical