, Volume 93, Issue 3, pp 319-328
Date: 04 Mar 2011

Clinical efficacy and safety evaluation of tailoring iron chelation practice in thalassaemia patients from Asia-Pacific: a subanalysis of the EPIC study of deferasirox

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Abstract

Although thalassaemia is highly prevalent in the Asia-Pacific region, clinical data on efficacy and safety profiles of deferasirox in patients from this region are rather limited. Recently, data from the multicentre Evaluation of Patients’ Iron Chelation with Exjade (EPIC) study in 1744 patients with different anaemias has provided an opportunity to analyse 1115 thalassaemia patients, of whom 444 patients were from five countries in the Asia-Pacific region (AP) for whom thalassaemia management and choice of iron chelators were similar. Compared to the rest of the world (ROW), baseline clinical data showed that the AP group appeared to be more loaded with iron (3745.0 vs. 2822.0 ng/ml) and had a higher proportion on deferoxamine monotherapy prior to the study (82.9 vs. 58.9%). Using a starting deferasirox dose based on transfusional iron intake and tailoring it to individual patient response, clinical efficacy based on serum ferritin reduction in AP and ROW thalassaemia patients was similar. Interestingly, the AP group developed a higher incidence of drug-related skin rash compared to ROW (18.0 vs. 7.2%), which may indicate different pharmacogenetic backgrounds in the two populations. Our analysis confirms that, with appropriate adjustment of dose, deferasirox can be clinically effective across different regions, with manageable side effects.