Iron chelation is controversial in higher risk myelodysplastic syndromes (HR-MDS), outside the allogeneic transplant setting. We conducted a retrospective, multicentre study in 51 patients with transfusion-dependent, intermediate-to-very high risk MDS, according to the revised international prognostic scoring system, treated with the oral iron chelating agent deferasirox (DFX). Thirty-six patients (71%) received azacitidine concomitantly. DFX was given at a median dose of 1000 mg/day (range 375-2500 mg) for a median of 11 months (range 0·4-75). Eight patients (16%) showed grade 2-3 toxicities (renal or gastrointestinal), 4 of whom (8%) required drug interruption. Median ferritin levels decreased from 1709 μg/l at baseline to 1100 μg/l after 12 months of treatment (P = 0·02). Seventeen patients showed abnormal transaminase levels at baseline, which improved or normalized under DFX treatment in eight cases. One patient showed a remarkable haematological improvement. At a median follow up of 35·3 months, median overall survival was 37·5 months. The results of this first survey of DFX in HR-MDS are comparable, in terms of safety and efficacy, with those observed in lower-risk MDS. Though larger, prospective studies are required to demonstrate real clinical benefits, our data suggest that DFX is feasible and might be considered in a selected cohort of HR-MDS patients.
Keywords: International Prognostic Scoring System; deferasirox; iron chelation; myelodyslastic syndromes; revised-International Prognostic Scoring System.
© 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.