Deferiprone for transfusional iron overload in sickle cell disease and other anemias: open-label study of up to 3 years.

Academic Article


  • Long-term safety and efficacy data on the iron chelator deferiprone in sickle cell disease (SCD) and other anemias are limited. FIRST-EXT was a 2-year extension study of FIRST (Ferriprox in Patients With Iron Overload in Sickle Cell Disease Trial), a 1-year, randomized noninferiority study of deferiprone vs deferoxamine in these populations. Patients who entered FIRST-EXT continued to receive, or were switched to, deferiprone. Altogether, 134 patients were enrolled in FIRST-EXT (mean age: 16.2 years), with mean (SD) exposure to deferiprone of 2.1 (0.8) years over the 2 studies. The primary end point was safety. Secondary end points were change in liver iron concentration (LIC), cardiac T2∗, serum ferritin (SF), and the proportion of responders (≥20% improvement in efficacy measure). The most common adverse events considered at least possibly related to deferiprone were neutropenia (9.0%) and abdominal pain (7.5%). LIC (mg/g dry weight) decreased over time, with mean (SD) changes from baseline at each time point (year 1, -2.64 [4.64]; year 2, -3.91 [6.38]; year 3, -6.64 [7.72], all P < .0001). Mean SF levels (μg/L) decreased significantly after year 2 (-771, P = .0008) and year 3 (-1016, P = .0420). Responder rates for LIC and SF increased each year (LIC: year 1, 46.5%; year 2, 57.1%; year 3, 66.1%; SF: year 1, 35.2%; year 2, 55.2%; year 3, 70.9%). Cardiac T2∗ remained normal in all patients. In conclusion, long-term therapy with deferiprone was not associated with new safety concerns and led to continued and progressive reduction in iron load in individuals with SCD or other anemias. The trial was registered at as #NCT02443545.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Blood Advances  Journal
  • Keywords

  • Adolescent, Humans, Anemia, Sickle Cell, Ferritins, Iron, Iron Chelating Agents, Iron Overload, Pyridones
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Elalfy MS; Hamdy M; El-Beshlawy A; Ebeid FSE; Badr M; Kanter J; Inusa B; Adly AAM; Williams S; Kilinc Y
  • Start Page

  • 611
  • End Page

  • 619
  • Volume

  • 7
  • Issue

  • 4