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Advances in Hematology
Volume 2010, Article ID 756289, 8 pages
Review Article

Iron Chelation Therapy in Myelodysplastic Syndromes

Division of Hematology and Internal Medicine, Department of Clinical and Biological Sciences of the University of Turin, Regione Gonzole 10, 10043 Orbassano (To), Italy

Received 1 October 2009; Revised 18 January 2010; Accepted 20 April 2010

Academic Editor: Jeffery Lynn Miller

Copyright © 2010 Emanuela Messa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a heterogeneous disorder of the hematopoietic stem cells, frequently characterized by anemia and transfusion dependency. In low-risk patients, transfusion dependency can be long lasting, leading to iron overload. Iron chelation therapy may be a therapeutic option for these patients, especially since the approval of oral iron chelators, which are easier to use and better accepted by the patients. The usefulness of iron chelation in MDS patients is still under debate, mainly because of the lack of solid prospective clinical trials that should take place in the future. This review aims to summarize what is currently known about the incidence and clinical consequences of iron overload in MDS patients and the state-of the-art of iron chelation therapy in this setting. We also give an overview of clinical guidelines for chelation in MDS published to date and some perspectives for the future.