April 1st 2005
Drs. Thompson and Luger’spaper provides a comprehensivesurvey of issues surroundinghematopoietic stem celltransplantation (HSCT) in myelodysplasticsyndrome (MDS). Whilefinding much of value in the paper, Istrongly disagree with the authors’opinion that “it is clear that youngpatients with [human leukocyte antigen(HLA)]–identical siblings. . .should undergo allogeneic HSCT assoon as possible.” This view wouldseem to rest on two premises: first,that allogeneic HSCT is, as the authorscontend, the only therapy“shown to alter the natural history ofMDS,” and second, that results withallogeneic HSCT are sufficiently“good” that the procedure can be regardedas a fixed, standard elementof medical practice.