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ISRN Hematol. 2011;2011:108397. doi: 10.5402/2011/108397. Epub 2011 Oct 13.

Effects of iron supplementation on erythropoietic response in patients with cancer-associated anemia treated by means of erythropoietic stimulating agents.

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Department of Hematology, Uppsala University Hospital, 751 85 Uppsala, Sweden.


During the past decade, intravenous iron supplementation to ESA (erythropoiesis-stimulating agent) therapy has emerged as an option to augment hemoglobin response in anemic cancer patients. In this paper, the results of seven published randomized clinical trials assessing the role of iron supplementation to ESA therapy in the hematology/oncology setting will be discussed. The pathogenetic mechanisms behind functional iron deficiency, a major reason for ESA hyporesponsiveness in cancer, will also be described.

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