Use of deferasirox in transfusion-dependent myelodysplastic syndromes with iron overload

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In myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), transfusion-dependent anemia has been established as an independent risk factor for decreased survival. Although evidence from prospective studies is still lacking, several guidelines recommend iron-chelating therapy in MDS patients with a longer life expectancy. With the recent introduction of deferasirox, an oral active iron-chelating drug, which has shown dose-dependent efficacy and acceptable tolerability, this therapeutic option has become feasible even in the elderly. Several retrospective and prospective studies showed that in MDS patients deferasirox is effective in reducing iron burden and in maintaining the circulating toxic iron fraction within the normal range. Moreover, in a substantial fraction of patients treated with deferasirox a significant improvement of peripheral cytopenias may occur.

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