REBLOZYL® (luspatercept-aamt) logo
Now approved for earlier treatment of MDS-related anemia badge


REBLOZYL® (luspatercept-aamt) is a prescription medicine used to treat anemia (low red blood cells) without previous erythropoiesis stimulating agent use (ESA-naïve) in adult patients with very low- to intermediate-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) who may require regular red blood cell (RBC) transfusions.

It is not known if REBLOZYL is safe or effective in children under 18 years of age.

Now approved for earlier treatment of MDS-related anemia badge

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Hypothetical patient with anemia in myelodysplastic syndromes with ring sideroblasts (MDS-RS) Hypothetical patient with anemia in myelodysplastic syndromes with ring sideroblasts (MDS-RS)

How MDS and anemia are diagnosed

Understanding more about how myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) (my-el-odys-plastic sin-dromes) and anemia are diagnosed may help you as you work with your healthcare team to create a treatment plan.

How is MDS diagnosed?

Your healthcare team can diagnose MDS by running various tests on, among other things, your bone marrow and blood samples. These tests help your healthcare team diagnose your type of MDS by answering the following questions:

  • Do you have cytopenias?
  • Do the cells in your bone marrow look normal or abnormal?
  • How many abnormal cells are present in your bone marrow?
  • How many immature or early forms of blood cells (blast cells) are present in your bone marrow?
  • What are the types of blood cells that look abnormal?
  • Are there cells with rings of iron, often called ring sideroblasts (RS)?
  • Do the cells in your bone marrow have gene mutations, like SF3B1?
Hypothetical patient with anemia in myelodysplastic syndromes with ring sideroblasts (MDS-RS) with doctor and loved one

Learning you have MDS can be hard, and navigating the treatment journey can be overwhelming. You may experience a range of thoughts as you come to terms with your MDS diagnosis, and it’s okay to be worried about what the future holds. Talk with your healthcare team and ask any questions you have so you can feel more informed when making treatment decisions. Learning more about MDS is the first step in taking control.

What is the role of RS in MDS?

In a type of myelodysplastic syndromes called MDS-RS, immature red blood cells (RBCs) pile up in the bone marrow. Many of these piled-up RBCs are ring sideroblasts (RS). RS are not-fully-grown, or immature, RBCs that have a ring of small circular iron clumps around the center structure of the cell where most cells store DNA. RS contribute to having low (red) blood cell counts. How many RS you have is part of diagnosing your type of MDS. You can be diagnosed with (MDS-RS) if at least 15% (15 out of every 100) of your red blood cells are ring sideroblasts.

Ring sideroblasts


What is SF3B1?

SF3B1 is a kind of specific gene mutation that is common in MDS. If blood test results identify you have this specific gene mutation in your blood cells, you only need an RS percentage of 5% for your MDS type to be MDS-RS. The SF3B1 mutation is very common and seen in as many as 80% of people with MDS-RS.

What happens after I’m diagnosed with MDS?

After your healthcare team has confirmed that you have MDS, they will give you a risk score. This score helps your healthcare team understand the chances of your MDS getting worse. Your risk score is one important factor in predicting how your MDS might affect you as time goes on. However, it’s not the only one. Your doctor will look at other factors, such as your age, your ability to perform daily tasks, the severity of your symptoms, and your recent blood test results.

If you’re worried about your risk score or the severity of your symptoms, consider talking about your concerns with other people who have MDS, your healthcare team, or even a counselor.

Hypothetical care team for patient with anemia in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS)

How does my doctor know my risk score?

Risk scores are based on many factors, including:

  • The number of blasts (immature or very early forms of blood cells) in your bone marrow, compared with normal mature cells
  • The type and number of mutations in your cells
  • The level of RBCs in your blood
  • The level of PLTs in your blood
  • The level of WBCs in your blood

Scores are given to each factor and then added up for an overall risk score. Risk scores can range from “very low” to “very high.”

A lower score means a lower risk of your MDS becoming a more serious condition, so make sure to stay connected with your healthcare team about your risk score. Even if your score is low, you can still talk to them about your managing your MDS.

Get more information on MDS

How can I care for my mental health after an MDS diagnosis?

When you’re coping with an MDS diagnosis, caring for your mental health is important. There are lots of ways to care for your mental health. You can start by doing nice things for yourself, like:

Hypothetical patient with anemia in myelodysplastic syndromes with ring sideroblasts (MDS-RS)
  • Talking to people you trust about what you’re going through
  • Regularly speaking to a therapist
  • Connecting with support groups for people living with MDS
  • Getting enough sleep and not pushing yourself physically
  • Consistently seeing family and friends
  • Making time for easy entertainment, like watching TV or reading a good book
  • Getting outdoors when the weather is good, even if it’s just to sit on the porch
  • Nourishing yourself with good food and staying hydrated

You’re not alone. Your friends and family want to help you however they can, so don’t feel bad about leaning on them and asking for support. Many people living with MDS also find it helpful to connect with other people going through the same thing. Make sure you talk to your healthcare team before making any lifestyle changes.

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