American Society of Hematology

NHLBI Seeks Proposals for The National Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) Natural History Study

Published on: April 15, 2013

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) released two requests for proposals for the National Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) Natural History Study under the following solicitations posted on FedBizOpps (

  1. Central Laboratory and Biorepository(full and open competition; due June 5, 2013)
  2. Data Coordinating Center (total small business set-aside; only small business concerns eligible to apply; due June 5, 2013)

The NHLBI aims to better understand the progression of myelodysplastic syndromes by initiating an observational study of newly diagnosed adults with MDS. While distinct mutations and genetic modifications are thought to underlie the molecular basis of MDS, and some of these mutations and modifications may be independent predictors of poor survival, the etiologies are not yet well defined. The establishment of a comprehensive, standardized, longitudinal clinical data set, and a consistently-processed well-annotated biospecimen collection will provide the research community with the national resources that can potentially be used to:

  1. identify genetic, epigenetic and biological factors associated with initiation and progression of MDS;
  2. uncover fundamental information on the changes that occur in hematopoietic stem cells and bone marrow stroma during normal aging;
  3. reveal clinically useful biomarkers;
  4. identify potential targets for new interventions; and
  5. facilitate understanding of how patients with MDS are managed in practice.

The NHLBI plans to make these resources available to the research community in order to facilitate basic and transitional research on the evolution of MDS over time, and to improve the diagnosis and clinical management of affected individuals.

ASH applauds the NHLBI for moving forward with this important initiative. The Society encourages efforts to build a national resource devoted to better understanding the progression of MDS, an important disorder of scientific focus given its epidemiologic link to senescence, its significance as a pre-leukemia model, and its relevance to stem cell biology. Research aimed at elucidating molecular mechanisms of MDS progression with the goal of improving treatment of MDS is one of the Society's top priorities. ASH is particularly pleased that the NHLBI incorporated the suggestions included in the Society's response to the request for information on this issue submitted in September 2012.

The proposals are due Wednesday, June 5, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. EDT. Individuals making offers are responsible for monitoring the FedBizOpps website (; see direct links to solicitations above) for the release of any amendments to the solicitations.

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