Nature or nurture? Role of the bone marrow microenvironment in the genesis and maintenance of myelodysplastic syndromesMore about Open Access at the Crick
Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) are clonal haematopoietic stem cell (HSC) disorders driven by a complex combination(s) of changes within the genome that result in heterogeneity in both clinical phenotype and disease outcomes. MDS is among the most common of the haematological cancers and its incidence markedly increases with age. Currently available treatments have limited success, with <5% of patients undergoing allogeneic HSC transplantation, a procedure that offers the only possible cure. Critical contributions of the bone marrow microenvironment to the MDS have recently been investigated. Although the better understanding of the underlying biology, particularly genetics of haematopoietic stem cells, has led to better disease and risk classification; however, the role that the bone marrow microenvironment plays in the development of MDS remains largely unclear. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the latest developments in understanding the aetiology of MDS, particularly focussing on understanding how HSCs and the surrounding immune/non-immune bone marrow niche interacts together.