Information Material

MDS UK Annual National Patient and Family Forum, 3rd October 2014, London

General Information and sub-types of MDS

      • BOOKLET - Building Blocks of Hope – MDS Foundation
        A special and full information book on MDS – produced by the international MDS Foundation. All you need to know about MDS.
        Includes explanations on sub-types of MDS, symptoms, tests needed, severity and treatment options.
        To download – or as a paper copy.
      • Factsheet logo 2 page sheet for general information on MDS - coming soon
      • BOOKLET
        What does my bone marrow do?   MDS Foundation booklet explaining the role of the bone marrow and stem cells in simple language and with illustrations.  Paper copies available from our office.
      • SLIDES
        MDS – Diagnosis, Treatment and Research updates by Dr Austin Kulasekararaj, London Patient Forum 2012.
      • SLIDES
        General MDS – Dr Chris Dalley – Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, London Patient Forum September 2010.
      • SLIDES
        High Risk MDS and hypomethylating agents - Dr Kavita Raj,  Consultant Haematologist Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital, London Patient Forum September 2009
      • SLIDES
        Genes and Genomes and MDS, part 1 - Nicholas Lea, Head of Diagnostic Molecular Haemato-Oncology at King’s College Hospitals, March 2015
        Genes and Genomes and MDS, part 2 - Nicholas Lea, Head of Diagnostic Molecular Haemato-Oncology at King’s College Hospitals, March 2015
      • BOOKLET
        Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research’s (LLR) patient booklet on MDS can be downloaded here.
        Paper copies can be obtained free of charge by contacting LLR directly.
        The LLR also provides a Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukaemia (CMML) Factsheet.
        Download it by clicking the link.
      • All other downloads from LLR are available on their download page here.
        Check all latest versions of their booklets, as well as many other useful information booklets.



Specific Treatments

      • SLIDES
        Current treatment in MDS – the Irish Perspective
        Dr Helen Enright, Dublin, Ireland Patient Forum 17/06/11
      • Supportive care treatments: EPO, GCSF – more information to follow.
      • Active MDS treatments are Vidaza and Revlimid, as well as some types of chemotherapy.
      • MDS Drug
        Vidaza – azacitidine
        – is a treatment licensed for specific MDS sub-types and levels of severity: Intermediate2 and high-risk MDS, CMML and AML.  It is a type of chemotherapy administered in out-patient clinics. This is done via injections 7 days a month – as long as the patient needs it.
        We will add further information shortly.
        In the meantime please also consult the Macmillan website about azacitidine: Macmillan azacitidine
        Azacitidine patient story:  Rodney Taylor was interviewed in the Daily Mail in March 2010 about his MDS treatment with azacitidine – please read if you are seeking more information on this drug.
        Daily Mail article March 2010 – Rodney Taylor
        And its 2013 update Rodney Taylor article – Daily Mail – 2013update
        If you are receiving the treatment azacitidine/Vidaza – and possibly experience a rash at the injection site, evening primrose oil can help.  Please read the following information and always check with your nurse or physician first: Evening Primrose Oil
      • MDS Drug
        Revlimid – lenalidomide
        – is an oral treatment given to the specific MDS sub-types del 5q (or 5q-) patients – who are also transfusion dependent.
        Revlimid is already available in the UK via the Cancer Drug Fund.
        It is currently being appraised by NICE.  See more information in our News column.



      • BOOKLET – Why you need transfusions and how they help.  Also includes information about iron overload and iron chelation which can become relevant if you are receiving transfusions on a long-term basis: Iron Overload Book
      • SLIDES - Presentation: Understanding myelodysplasia and Introduction to Blood Transfusion
      • February 2012 – New resource for patient information on blood transfusion. The following NHS link includes information about all aspects of blood transfusion: Link provided by the Chief Medical Officer’s National Blood Transfusion Committee ‘Patient Involvement Working Group’ here  Please be aware the information is not specifically targeted at MDS – but all conditions needing blood transfusions.


Life style advice


Bone Marrow Transplants

Other helpful and practical information

      • Travel Insurance FACTSHEET – coming up soon – also look up our Forum – and travel insurance folder for up to date information on good and bad travel insurers.
      • If you are using a Hickman line – we have received the following tip and new device from a patient who invented a special holder that makes the central line a little more comfortable.  Check her website  She devised the product following her own experience.   She is now looking for patients to test it and review the product.
      • A Brief Introduction to the Benefits System by Fiona Crowe, Macmillan & Dimbleby Benefits Advisor
      • Macmillan Benefits National Helpline 0800 500 8000800 500 800 (we recommend calling this helpline first before other helplines)
      • Disability Living Allowance & Attendance Allowance 0845 7123 4560845 7123 456
      • Employment Support Allowance 0800 055 66 880800 055 66 88
      • Carers Allowance 0845 608 43210845 608 4321
      • Patient Transport Bureau 0300 111 213
      • Age UK Advice 0800 169 65 650800 169 65 65
      • Community Legal Services Advice Line0845 345 4 3450845 345 4 345
      • Adviceguide website is the main public information service of Citizens Advice Bureau
      • Community Legal Service provide and promote civil legal aid services:

Information about MDS UK Patient Support Group


      • Quality of Life questionnaire used to assess how you are coping with aspects of MDS and to what extent the condition affects you.
        Bring this to your physician to help discuss your care.Click here to download and print the questionnaire.  You might find it helpful to fill out this questionnaire at every consultation to notice any positive or negative changes in time – and share it with clinical staff.
        This questionnaire has been developed and validated by an MDS specialist and is being used in many European countries for the purpose of assessing Quality of Life in MDS patients specifically.
        Further information can be found here

If you are using this questionnaire, and are happy to share your responses with us, please post or email your completed questionnaires to us – as this will help with information we collect on Quality of Life data.  All questionnaires will be anonymous.