The incidence of oesophageal adenocarcinoma (OAC) is rising dramatically and overall survival remains extremely poor. Iron has been shown to potentiate tumourigenesis in OAC, and iron chelation therapy demonstrates promise in vivo as an adjunct to neoadjuvant and palliative chemotherapy. OAC, however, has traditionally been associated with iron deficiency anaemia. The aim of this study was therefore to formally quantify the iron status of OAC patients in order to guide the design of future clinical trials involving iron chelation therapy. Demographic and cancer specific data were collected prospectively from all patients presenting with OAC and gastric adenocarcinoma (GAC). Patients had haemoglobin, serum iron, serum ferritin and serum transferrin receptor (sTfR) levels measured to assess systemic iron status. In addition, the sTfR/log ferritin (sTfR-F) index was calculated. Average haemoglobin, serum iron, serum ferritin, sTfR and sTfR-F index values for all patients presenting with OAC were within normal sex specific reference ranges. No statistical difference in iron status was observed between OAC patients presenting with resectable and advanced OAC. Patients with OAC are relatively iron replete compared with those presenting with GAC. Iron parameters were not significantly altered by standard neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Patients presenting with resectable or advanced OAC could be considered as candidates for a clinical trial of iron chelation therapy as an addition to standard neoadjuvant or palliative treatments.
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