This prospective randomized phase II study aimed to determine the safety and efficacy of deferasirox in preventing iatrogenic iron overload in patients receiving induction/consolidation chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) ize. Serum ferritin, transferrin saturation and CRP were measured pre-, mid- and post- each chemotherapy cycle. Patients were randomized to receive either therapy with deferasirox vs. no deferasirox therapy once
serum ferritin increased to >500ug/l. The trial was stopped prematurely due to excess gastrointestinal (GI) and infectious toxicity demonstrable in the deferasirox arm, after 10 patients had been randomized to deferasirox and 6 patients to the control arm. Overall, deferasirox was poorly tolerated, with median maximum tolerated dose only 13.8 mg/kg/d and no patient able to tolerate doses >20mg/kg/d. Median duration of deferasirox therapy was only 72d (range 19-130d), with 9/10 patients requiring unplanned dose interruptions and 4/10 patients unable to continue the drug predominantly due to GI effects. Although all 3 treatment-related deaths occurred in the deferasirox arm (P=0.25), median overall survival was similar between treatment arms. Use of deferasirox to prevent iatrogenic iron overload in AML patients undertaking induction/consolidation is poorly tolerated and appears to be associated with excess GI and infectious toxicity. 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.