Hépato-Gastro & Oncologie Digestive


Iron deficiency in digestive oncology Volume 26, supplement 1, Octobre 2019


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CHRU de Nancy, Service d’hépato-gastro-entérologie, 5 allée du Morvan 54500 Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy ; Unité Inserm NGERE : Université de Lorraine
* Correspondance

Iron deficiency is a very frequent complication in patients with a digestive cancer, especially in those treated with chemotherapy, promoting anemia. Negative consequences are numerous, leading to fatigue, alteration of skin appendages, mood disorders, with significant alteration of quality of life. However, iron deficiency is underdiagnosed and undertreated in oncology. Each patient with a digestive tumor should have at least serum ferritin and transferrin saturation dosages, for identifying iron deficiency and its evolution after treatment. It is recommended to prescribe intravenous iron supplementation in case of absolute iron deficiency, but also in case of functional iron deficiency associated to anemia. In this situation, erythropoiesis-stimulating agents is also required. Injectable iron allows the increase of hemoglobin level, improvement of quality of life, and reduction of red blood cells transfusions, with excellent tolerance. Although it is demonstrated that treating iron deficiency without anemia in chronic heart failure patients is useful, randomized prospective studies are lacking for recommending a similar approach in oncology.

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