The myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) Program is a highly interdisciplinary group of investigators dedicated to reducing the incidence and subsequent mortality of MDS/MPN. The program fosters interdisciplinary research in basic science, genetics, clinical medicine, cancer prevention, and epidemiology at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the faculty at the University of Washington, and the clinical community to improve MDS/MPN prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment. 

Program Strengths

Forty years ago, researchers at Fred Hutch developed bone marrow transplantation, which continues to be an effective option for patients with MDS and MPN. Dr. E. Donnall Thomas and his team proved it is possible to replace cancerous cells and stem cells with donated healthy cells that engraft within a patient’s bone marrow. The discovery has created an effective treatment option for many blood cancers, and earned Thomas the 1990 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine.

Personalized Care

Our clinicians are experts in the management of MDS/MPN. Our researchers are working to better understand what makes the cells in the bone marrow develop into disease. Our experts know the limitations of current treatment options and are able to maximize health outcomes while managing treatment side effects. Treatments such as targeted radiotherapy offer great promise for patients to selectively provide high doses of radiation to diseased cells while sparing healthy cells.

Driving Innovation through Clinical Trials

Today, our researchers continue to perform ground breaking work that is revolutionizing the field of hematologic malignancies. Our clinicians and research teams bring the newest cutting edge therapies to our MDS/MPN patients through access to clinical trials. Our researchers are innovating new therapies for patients including drugs not yet commercially available, which may be less toxic and improve survival.


The foundational success of bone marrow transplant has set the stage for other methods that use a patient’s own immune system to attack cancer cells. This field, called immunotherapy, is transforming the cancer field and achieving remarkable results.

For more about immunotherapy, watch the video by Fred Hutch researcher Dr. Stan Riddell.

Our MDS/MPN program offers the unique capacity to conduct truly translational research. Our team is focused on bringing the most innovative therapies to our patients and we offer specialized treatments in immunotherapy.

Dr. Joachim Deeg
STTR MDS/MPN Deputy Director

Dr. Deeg treats bone marrow failure such as aplastic anemia and blood cancers, such as myelodysplastic syndrome, leukemia, and myelofibrosis.. His research interests are in pathophysiology, genetics and epigenetics of MDS (role of transcription factors in regulation), inflammatory responses and GVHD (effects of alpha1 anti-trypsin [AAT]), separation of GVHD and GVL effects by AAT, and iron and allogeneic responses (in vitro, in vivo).

Learn more about Dr. Deeg's clinical practice