Tailoring iron chelation by iron intake and serum ferritin: The prospective EPIC study of deferasirox in 1744 patients with transfusion-dependent anemias

Maria Domenica Cappellini, John Porter, Amal El-Beshlawy, Chi Kong Li, John F. Seymour, Mohsen Elalfy, Norbert Gattermann, Stéphane Giraudier, Jong Wook Lee, Lee Lee Chan, Kai Hsin Lin, Christian Rose, Ali Taher, Swee Lay Thein, Vip Viprakasit, Dany Habr, Gabor Domokos, Bernard Roubert, Antonis Kattamis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Following a clinical evaluation of deferasirox (Exjade®) it was concluded that, in addition to baseline body iron burden, ongoing transfusional iron intake should be considered when selecting doses. The 1-year EPIC study, the largest ever investigation conducted for an iron chelator, is the first to evaluate whether fixed starting doses of deferasirox, based on transfusional iron intake, with dose titration guided by serum ferritin trends and safety markers, provides clinically acceptable chelation in patients (aged ≥2 years) with transfusional hemosiderosis from various types of anemia. Design and Methods: The recommended initial dose was 20 mg/kg/day for patients receiving 2-4 packed red blood cell units/month and 10 or 30 mg/kg/day was recommended for patients receiving less or more frequent transfusions, respectively. Dose adjustments were based on 3-month serum ferritin trends and continuous assessment of safety markers. The primary efficacy end-point was change in serum ferritin after 52 weeks compared with baseline. Results: The 1744 patients enrolled had the following conditions; thalassemia (n=1115), myelodysplastic syndromes (n=341), aplastic anemia (n=116), sickle cell disease (n=80), rare anemias (n=43) and other transfused anemias (n=49). Overall, there was a significant reduction in serum ferritin from baseline (-264 ng/mL; P5%) adverse events were gastrointestinal disturbances (28%) and skin rash (10%). Conclusions: Analysis of this large, prospectively collected data set confirms the response to chelation ther- apy across various anemias, supporting initial deferasirox doses based on transfusional iron intake, with subsequent dose titration guided by trends in serum ferritin and safety markers (clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT00171821).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-566
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


  • Iron chelation therapy
  • Transfusion medicine
  • Transfusion-dependent anemias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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