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Hematology
Oncology

Study finds intravenous iron safe for cancer anemia despite infection risk concerns

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Although there is some evidence suggesting an increased risk of infectious complications associated with intravenous iron therapy in patients with cancer, the overall safety and effectiveness of intravenous iron in treating cancer-associated anemia remain supported by current findings, according to a new review.

The review highlights the complexity and variability in the data, emphasizing the need for further research to better understand and mitigate any potential risks associated with this treatment approach.

A comprehensive review and meta-analysis of 18 randomized trials sought to determine the risk of infectious complications associated with intravenous iron therapy in cancer patients. Only 8 reported data on infectious complications among these trials, and results varied significantly. Two trials indicated a statistically significant increase in infections, while 1 suggested a lower risk, and the remaining 5 found no significant difference.

Despite a numerical increase in infection rates among patients receiving intravenous iron, the data lacked statistical significance due to substantial heterogeneity across the trials. This inconsistency underscores the complexity of drawing definitive conclusions about the infection risks tied to intravenous iron.

Reference
Meyers M, Salmon M, Libert I, et al. A meta-analysis on the risk of infection associated with intravenous iron therapy in cancer-associated anaemia: a double-edged sword? Curr Opin Oncol. 2024;36(4):223-232. doi: 10.1097/CCO.0000000000001024. Epub 2024 Feb 15. PMID: 38842015.

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