Treatment

Prescribing preferences for iron therapy in patients with inflammatory bowel disease and iron deficiency anaemia are shifting from oral to intravenous preparations, research indicates. The shift appears to coincide with guidelines published in 2007 that recommend intravenous iron treatment for this patient population1.

Iron-deficient cardiac patients treated with intravenous ferric carboxymaltose show significant improvements in a range of quality of life scores, according to a new analysis. Measures relating to physical impairment are particularly responsive to iron therapy, with improvements in ‘mobility’ and ‘usual activity’ likely to have significant impact upon patients’ everyday life.

Healthy pregnant women taking iron treatments throughout their pregnancy are less likely to be iron deficient by the time of delivery, a new study indicates. The study also suggests that the detection and correction of iron deficiency in the early stages of pregnancy could reduce the risk of developing iron deficiency by the end of the gestational period.

Using intravenous iron to achieve haemoglobin targets in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) on haemodialysis is more cost-effective than oral iron, a new study indicates. The research also suggests that intravenous iron may better improve survival and quality of life, implying that this treatment approach should be adopted for this patient population.

New research suggests that intravenous iron therapy may help to improve iron levels in patients with Waldenström macroglobulinemia who exhibit severely depressed transferrin saturation (TSAT) levels.

The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) practice improvement project was conducted to determine baseline TSAT levels in untreated anaemic patients with Waldenström macroglobulinemia. Among 108 patients, 56 (52%) had a TSAT level ≤20%, which included 25 (23%) patients with severely depressed TSAT levels (≤10%).

A review exploring the role of iron in the onset and progression of cancer has suggested that a greater understanding of the hepcidin–ferroportin system may lead to the identification of novel treatment targets for cancer patients.

Iron is essential for many physiological functions, and cancer-related deficiency leading to anaemia decreases patient performance status and quality of life, and can also negatively affect overall patient outcomes. Besides being a crucial stimulus for cancer proliferation, iron dysfunction may also originate new tumours.

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