Background: Iron chelation therapy (ICT) with deferoxamine (DFO), the current standard for the treatment of iron overload in patients with transfusion-dependent disorders such as β-thalassemia, requires regular subcutaneous or intravenous infusions. This can lead to reduced quality of life and poor adherence, resulting in increased morbidity and mortality in iron-overloaded patients with β-thalassemia. Deferasirox is an orally administered iron chelator that has been approved for use in the United States, Switzerland, and other countries. Objective: This analysis was conducted to compare patient-reported outcomes (PROs) during receipt of DFO infusions or once-daily oral therapy with deferasirox (ICL670). Methods: PROs were prospectively evaluated as part of a randomized, Phase III study comparing the efficacy and safety profile of DFO 20 to 60 mg/kg per day with those of deferasirox 5 to 30 mg/kg per day in patients (age ≥2 years) with β-thalassemia who were receiving regular transfusions and had a liver iron concentration of ≥2 mg/g dry weight. PRO questionnaires were completed by patients or a parent or legal guardian at baseline, week 4, week 24, and end of study (EOS). Patients assessed their level of satisfaction with study treatment (very satisfied, satisfied, neutral, dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied) and rated its convenience (very convenient, convenient, neutral, inconvenient, or very inconvenient). Time lost from normal activities due to ICT in the previous 4 weeks was recorded using a single global assessment. At week 4, patients who had previous experience with DFO were asked to indicate their preference for treatment (ICT received before the study, ICT received during the study, no preference, or no response) and the reason for that preference. At EOS, all patients were asked if they would be willing to continue using the ICT they had received during the study. All study analyses were performed in all patients who received at least 1 dose of study medication. Results: Five hundred eighty-six patients (304 females, 282 males; age range, 2-53 years) received treatment with DFO (n = 290) or deferasirox (n = 296). Significantly more patients treated with deferasirox reported being very satisfied or satisfied with treatment compared with those treated with DFO (week 4: 92.0% vs 50.4%, respectively; week 24: 89.6% vs 44.0%; EOS: 85.1% vs 38.7%; all, P <0.001). At the same time points, the majority of those treated with deferasirox reported that treatment was very convenient or convenient compared with those treated with DFO (95.5% vs 21.3%, 91.7% vs 17.4%, and 92.7% vs 11.3%, respectively; all, P <0.001). Among patients who had previously taken DFO and were randomized to receive deferasirox during the study, 96.9% reported a preference for deferasirox over DFO. At EOS, the proportion of patients indicating a willingness to continue study therapy was significantly greater in those receiving deferasirox than in those receiving DFO (85.8% vs 13.8%; P <0.001). Conclusions: In this study, patient-reported satisfaction and convenience were significantly higher for the once-daily, oral ICT deferasirox than for DFO infusions. Among patients who had received DFO before the study, the majority indicated a preference for deferasirox over DFO. Most patients receiving deferasirox indicated that they would be willing to continue taking it. These results suggest that deferasirox had a positive impact on patients' daily lives.
- iron chelation therapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas