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Keywords:

  • intravenous iron;
  • erythropoiesis stimulating agents;
  • cancer anaemia

Summary

Intravenous iron has become the standard of care in patients with renal failure receiving treatment with erythropoiesis stimulating agents (ESAs) to treat true and functional iron deficiency and to prevent its development in haemodialysis patients. In cancer-related anaemia, several recently published, randomised studies suggested that intravenous iron improved haemoglobin response rates in ESA-treated patients compared to those treated with oral iron or placebo. The data supporting the efficacy of intravenous iron instead of oral iron in this setting are increasingly persuasive but larger randomised trials are needed before definitive recommendations are made.