National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre in Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Nottingham, UK. Department of Colorectal Surgery, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK. Milton Keynes University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Milton Keynes, UK. The University of Buckingham, Buckingham, MK18 1EG, UK. Department of Palliative Care, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK. Department of Gastroenterology, Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, Wolverhampton, UK. Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK.
People with anaemia and advanced solid tumours, enrolled in the Intravenous Iron for Cancer Related Anaemia Symptoms (ICaRAS) trial (n= 34).
Intravenous iron (n= 17).
Placebo: sodium chloride (n= 17).
Outcomes included trial feasibility, change in blood indices, and change in quality of life via three validated questionnaires over 8 weeks. Among those eligible, 47% of people agreed to participate and total study attrition was 26%. Blinding was successful in all participants. There were no serious adverse reactions. Compared to baseline, there was a significant rise in haemoglobin, ferritin, and transferrin saturation % at weeks 4 and 8 for participants in the iron group but not the placebo group. Anaemia resolution was achieved in 39% of intravenous iron participants by week 8 compared to 8% of the placebo group.
BACKGROUND Anaemia is highly prevalent in people with advanced, palliative cancer yet sufficiently effective and safe treatments are lacking. Oral iron is poorly tolerated, and blood transfusion offers only transient benefits. Intravenous iron has shown promise as an effective treatment for anaemia but its use for people with advanced, palliative cancer lacks evidence. AIMS To assess feasibility of the trial
design according to screening, recruitment, and attrition rates. To evaluate the efficacy of intravenous iron to treat anaemia in people with solid tumours, receiving palliative care. DESIGN A multicentre, randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled trial of intravenous iron (ferric derisomaltose, Monofer(®)). Outcomes included trial feasibility, change in blood indices, and change in quality of life via three validated questionnaires (EQ5D5L, QLQC30, and the FACIT-F) over 8 weeks. (ISRCTN; 13370767). SETTING/PARTICIPANTS People with anaemia and advanced solid tumours who were fatigued with a performance status ⩽2 receiving support from a specialist palliative care service. RESULTS 34 participants were randomised over 16 months (17 iron, 17 placebo). Among those eligible 47% of people agreed to participate and total study attrition was 26%. Blinding was successful in all participants. There were no serious adverse reactions. Results indicated that intravenous iron may be efficacious at improving participant haemoglobin, iron stores and select fatigue specific quality of life measures compared to placebo. CONCLUSION The trial was feasible according to recruitment and attrition rates. Intravenous iron increased haemoglobin and may improve fatigue specific quality of life measures compared to placebo. A definitive trial is required for confirmation.