The study is being funded by the Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation
In their press release
about the study, the AA&MDSIF quotes Dr. Seensma:
Tens of thousands of veterans who served in the Vietnam conflict were exposed to a toxic mix of chemicals, including dioxin in Agent Orange, jet fuel and other substances. These substances include known carcinogens that can injure bone marrow cells or cause DNA mutations. We have recently learned that to develop MDS, it takes multiple DNA mutations acquired over time, and so remote exposures may contribute to specific mutations in MDS in this patient population.
The press release also quotes AA&MDSIF CEO Kathleen Weis:
The Foundation has long recognized the special concerns of veterans who develop MDS. We've been hearing those concerns voiced for years at our patient and family conferences. By providing funds for Dr. Steensma's study of MDS molecular patterns, we hope to clarify how these vets contracted this life-threatening disease and resolve the issue for them, as well as for the VA.