Luspatercept in Lower-risk Myelodysplastic Syndromes

Image from case posted on Figure 1 by DrNick3000

If you are someone who has myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and regularly needs blood transfusions, a new drug called luspatercept may be right for you.

Drug description
Luspatercept is a drug used to treat anemia in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes. It has been approved for use in people who meet all the following criteria:

  • They have MDS with ring sideroblasts or some other myeloid neoplasm,
  • They are classified with very low, low, or intermediate risk MDS,
  • They have been receiving at least 2 units of blood transfusions over 8 weeks,
  • They are no longer responsive to erythropoiesis stimulating agents.

Luspatercept reduces the need for blood transfusions in these patients, but it only works in about 38% of patients. For those who are responsive to luspatercept, many can expect to be blood transfusion free for 32 weeks or more. 

In some cases patients may need a blood transfusion after several weeks on luspatercept, and then experience another long stretch of time without more transfusions. So don’t immediately stop taking the drug if you require a blood transfusion.

Side Effects
The side effects of luspatercept are mild. They’re actually similar to the symptoms you may already experience as part of MDS. The most side effects include:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • General feeling of unwellness.

Learn More
Watch this video created by Figure 1 to learn more about luspaterceptin. If you think luspatercept is right for you, ask your doctor about it.