Innovation Center ● Prof. Dr. med. habil. Uwe Platzbecker
European MDS Study Network: Together against blood cancer
Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a common hematologic disorder characterized by changes in blood cells in the bone marrow. The non-specific symptoms and complexity of MDS present challenges for both patients and physicians. Clinical research is critical for advances in diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy. The study landscape is diverse and requires expert knowledge and the ability to recruit sufficient patients into appropriate studies and cohorts.
The vision of Prof. Uwe Platzbecker and Prof. Pierre Fenaux, supported by the European Leukemia Net (ELN) and the GWT-TUD, led to the establishment of the EMSCO network (European Myelodysplastic Syndromes Cooperative Group). EMSCO aims to establish a pan-European network for faster and better MDS research, with the GWT acting as an independent cross-organizational entity.
EMSCO serves as the coordinating body for pan-European clinical trials and transnational research in MDS. Since the network's inception, several studies have been initiated, including the EUROPE and DACOTA studies. EMSCO also serves as a platform for meetings and exchanges between physicians and scientists. In addition, an information website for patients has been developed and regular patient days are held.
Platform for europewide coordination
Within an academic exchange, Prof. Uwe Platzbecker (Germany) and Prof. Pierre Fenaux (France) developed the vision to establish a platform for the Europe-wide coordination of MDS studies and consolidation of European MDS research. With the support of the European Leukemia Net (ELN) and the GWT-TUD, the project partners then founded the EMSCO network (European Myelodysplastic Syndromes Cooperative Group). The goal of EMSCO is to establish a Europe-wide network for faster and better MDS research. The GWT acts as a structuring unit which, due to its independence, is able to act across organizations and throughout Europe.
EMSCO serves as the European coordinating body for clinical trials and transnational research in MDS. Several pan-European studies have been initiated through it since the network was established. Currently, the EUROPE study (low-risk MDS with thrombocytopenia) and the DACOTA study (proliferative CMML) are actively recruiting patients in Germany, France and Italy. Physicians and study centers from the Netherlands are involved in the EMSCO network for the first time as part of the BERGAMO study. This study is investigating a new approach to treat patients with high-risk MDS or acute leukemia who have not responded to standard therapy.
In addition, EMSCO serves as a platform for meetings where physicians and scientists exchange ideas. Study groups from participating countries meet at least once a year to discuss projects and initiate new studies. A website on MDS for patients and their relatives has been designed to provide information for patients, and patient days are held regularly.
Under the leadership of Prof. Platzbecker, the app "MDS Center" was also developed, which supports hematologists with a number of helpful applications. The app contains an interactive therapy algorithm that guides physicians step by step to therapy in accordance with current guidelines. A study finder is also integrated, which leads to suitable studies with detailed descriptions and details of all participating centers. A knowledge and information section is rounded off by contributions from various MDS experts.
Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a group of rare blood disorders. It is caused by genetic changes in the hematopoietic cells in the bone marrow that are acquired during life. In patients suffering from myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), the bone marrow no longer produces enough healthy blood cells. Many blood cells remain immature, are deformed or are released into the blood in insufficient numbers. The result is a lack of healthy blood cells, which causes the disease symptoms and the various manifestations of the disease.
Key performance features
Prof. Dr. med. habil.
Director of the Clinic and Polyclinic for Hematology, Cell Therapy
University Hospital Leipzig
Clinic and Polyclinic for
Hematology, Cell Therapy
University Hospital Leipzig
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