The relationship between iron bone marrow stores and response to treatment in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia

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Iron is an intracellular element whose accumulation in the body is associated with tissue damage. This study examines the effect of iron on pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and its “response to treatment.” At the end of the first year of treatment, bone marrow iron store (BMIS) was evaluated in children with ALL and the relationship between iron store and minimal residual disease was investigated. Moreover, the 3-year disease-free survival (3-DFS) of patients was determined. Patients’ BMIS were compared with that of subjects with normal bone marrow. The study examined 93 children, including 78 Pre-B and 15 T-cell ALL patients. BMIS did not differ between the children with ALL and those with no evidence of cancer. BMIS was increased in 26.6% of patients at the end of the first year of treatment. Drug resistance and BM relapses were more prevalent in cases with high BMIS in both Pre-B and T-cell groups. Bone marrow iron store is not considered a risk factor for childhood ALL. However, high levels of BMIS are associated with poor response to treatment and the risk of relapse. Bone marrow iron store control during treatment can therefore help achieve better outcomes and improve the chances of recovery.

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