The Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation (AA&MDSIF) recently announced that the FDA has expanded the label for VIDAZA (azacitidine) to include data from the AZA-001 trial, which found that Vidaza is the only agent that extends survival in MDS (myelodysplastic syndromes) patients. Vidaza was also shown to delay progression to acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) in patients with MDS. Roughly 30 percent of patients diagnosed with MDS will progress to AML. “We are very encouraged by the Vidaza data from the AZA-001 trial. This trial showed, for the first time, a drug can extend survival for MDS patients,” said John Huber, Executive Director of the Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation. “We are excited to see that in this trial Vidaza also reduced the need for blood transfusions.” MDS occur when the bone marrow stem cells malfunction. This results in the production of too many defective blood cells and not enough normal cells. Diagnosis is made through blood tests and a bone marrow biopsy. Once diagnosed, treatment and evaluation should occur under the care of a hematologist or hematologist/oncologist. There are many subtypes of MDS classified according to how the disease manifests itself in the blood and marrow of the patient. Treatments include blood transfusions, growth factors, chemotherapy and bone marrow transplant.