, Volume 88, Issue 1, pp 24-29,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 27 Jun 2008

Overview of guidelines on iron chelation therapy in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes and transfusional iron overload


Between 2002 and 2008, a number of consensus statements and guidelines were developed by various groups around the world to educate healthcare professionals on the treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), including the management of transfusional iron overload with iron chelation therapy. Guidelines have been developed by The Italian Society of Hematology, The UK MDS Guidelines Group, The Nagasaki Group, The National Comprehensive Cancer Network, and The MDS Foundation. These guidelines show that the approaches to managing iron overload in patients with MDS are region specific, differing in their recommendations for when iron chelation therapy should be initiated and strategies for the ongoing management of iron overload. The guidelines all agree that red blood cell transfusions are clinically beneficial to treat the symptomatic anemia in MDS, and that patients with low-risk MDS receiving transfusions are the most likely to benefit from iron chelation therapy.