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Role of intravenous iron in the treatment of anemia in patients with gastrointestinal tract tumors undergoing chemotherapy: a single-center, observational study

Authors Lima J, Gago P, Rocha M, Grilo I, Gomes R, Luís M, Sarmento T, Teira A, Sousa M, Barbosa M

Received 20 February 2018

Accepted for publication 11 April 2018

Published 22 August 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 331—336

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJGM.S165947

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Justinn Cochran

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Joana Lima, Patrícia Gago, Mariana Rocha, Inês Grilo, Rosa Gomes, Michael Luís, Teresa Sarmento, Antonio Teira, Marta Sousa, Miguel Barbosa

Medical Oncology Department, Centro Hospitalar de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, EPE, Vila Real, Portugal

Purpose: The prevalence of anemia ranges between 30% and 90% in cancer patients, affecting the health status, quality of life, and treatment outcome. Therefore, a proper diagnosis and management of anemia is crucial in these patients. Iron deficiency is diagnosed in ~32%–60% of the cases. In this observational study, we evaluated the efficacy and safety of intravenous iron (ferric carboxymaltose [FCM], Ferinject®) in the treatment of iron-deficiency anemia in patients with gastrointestinal tumors undergoing palliative or adjuvant chemotherapy.
Patients and methods: Thirty patients with gastrointestinal tumors undergoing chemotherapy diagnosed with iron-deficiency anemia were included in the study and received at least one FCM administration. The need for iron replacement therapy was evaluated by the assessment of hemoglobin and iron status parameters, and patients could be treated with FCM during 12–14 weeks. Paired t-test approach was used to evaluate the mean differences between the baseline and the end of the study. A p-value of <0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: Data showed that there was a statistically significant increase in the mean of hemoglobin (10.3 vs 11.2 g/dL), ferritin (230.3 vs 877.0 ng/mL), transferrin saturation (13.0% vs 19.7%), and serum iron (42.3 vs 59.6 mg/mL) from the baseline to the end of the study in cancer patients. Most of the patients (n=25) were only administered one dose of FCM. There was one FCM-related adverse event during the study.
Conclusion: FCM was well tolerated and had a positive impact in the treatment of iron-deficiency anemia in patients with gastrointestinal tract tumors undergoing chemotherapy.

Keywords: anemia, ferric carboxymaltose, gastrointestinal tract tumors, oncology

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