Journal Article
Randomized Controlled Trial
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Safety and efficacy of early start of iron chelation therapy with deferiprone in young children newly diagnosed with transfusion-dependent thalassemia: A randomized controlled trial.

Iron overload is inevitable in patients who are transfusion dependent. In young children with transfusion-dependent thalassemia (TDT), current practice is to delay the start of iron chelation therapy due to concerns over toxicities, which have been observed when deferoxamine was started too early. However, doing so may increase the risk of iron accumulation that will be manifested as toxicities later in life. This study investigated whether deferiprone, a chelator with a lower affinity for iron than deferoxamine, could postpone transfusional iron overload while maintaining a good safety profile. Recently diagnosed TDT infants (N = 64 their age ranged from 10 to 18 (median 12) months, 54.7% males; receiving ≤6 transfusions; serum ferittin (SF) >400 to < 1000 ng/mL were randomized to "early start deferiprone" (.ES-DFP) at a low dose (50 mg/kg/day) or to "delay chelation" (DC), and remained in the study until their serum ferritin (SF) level reached ≥1000 μg/L. 61 patients continued the study Levels of transferrin saturation (TSAT) and labile plasma iron (LPI) were measured as well. By approximately 6 months postrandomization, 100% of the subjects in DC group had achieved SF > 1000 µg/L and TSAT > 70% compared with none in the ES-DFP group. LPI level > 0.6 µM was observed in 97% vs. 40% of the DS and ES groups, respectively, (P < 0.001). The time to reach SF > 1000 µg/L was delayed by 6 months in the ES-DFP group (P < 0.001) without escalating DFP dose. No unexpected, serious, or severe adverse events were seen in the ES-DFP group.

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