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Ann Hematol. 2013 Jan;92(2):211-9. doi: 10.1007/s00277-012-1588-x. Epub 2012 Oct 21.

Efficacy and safety of deferasirox at low and high iron burdens: results from the EPIC magnetic resonance imaging substudy.

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  • 1UCL Cancer Institute, Department of Haematology, University College London, 72 Huntley Street, London, UK. j.porter@ucl.ac.uk


The effect of deferasirox dosing tailored for iron burden and iron loading based on liver iron concentration (LIC) was assessed over 1 year in less versus more heavily iron-overloaded patients in a substudy of the Evaluation of Patients' Iron Chelation with Exjade®. Deferasirox starting dose was 10-30 mg/kg/day, depending on blood transfusion frequency, with recommended dose adjustments every 3 months. Therapeutic goals were LIC maintenance or reduction in patients with baseline LIC <7 or ≥7 mg Fe/g dry weight (dw), respectively. Changes in LIC (R2-magnetic resonance imaging) and serum ferritin after 1 year were assessed. Adverse events (AEs) and laboratory parameters were monitored throughout. Of 374 patients, 71 and 303 had baseline LIC <7 and ≥7 mg Fe/g dw, respectively; mean deferasirox doses were 20.7 and 27.1 mg/kg/day (overall average time to dose increase, 24 weeks). At 1 year, mean LIC and median serum ferritin levels were maintained in the low-iron cohort (-0.02 ± 2.4 mg Fe/g dw, -57 ng/mL; P = not significant) and significantly decreased in the high-iron cohort (-6.1 ± 9.1 mg Fe/g dw, -830 ng/mL; P < 0.0001). Drug-related gastrointestinal AEs, mostly mild to moderate, were more frequently reported in the <7 versus ≥7 mg Fe/g dw cohort (39.4 versus 20.8 %; P = 0.001) and were not confounded by diagnosis, dosing, ethnicity, or hepatitis B and/or C history. Reported serum creatinine increases did not increase in low- versus high-iron cohort patients. Deferasirox doses of 20 mg/kg/day maintained LIC <7 mg Fe/g dw and doses of 30 mg/kg/day were required for net iron reduction in the high-iron cohort, with clinically manageable safety profiles. The higher incidence of gastrointestinal AEs at lower iron burdens requires further investigation.

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