21 Oct ACG 2022 Annual Scientific Meeting, Charlotte, North Carolina


Iron Overload in Cancer Survivors

28 September, 2016

Iron overload is increasingly recognised as a possible complication in cancer survivors who received multiple blood transfusions as part of their cancer therapy. Iron overload can result from treatments for both blood and solid tumours and can persist for years after cancer treatment. Excess iron is deposited in tissues of the body, potentially causing tissue damage and organ failure. The duration of exposure to high iron burden is directly related to adverse outcomes. As such, a reliable, non-invasive, and accurate measure of body iron stores is required to manage the treatment of iron-related toxicity.

FerriScan is globally recognised as the gold standard for quantitative measurement of liver iron concentration. Liver iron concentration provides the best measurement of total body iron stores, assisting clinical decisions on initiation and adjustment of phlebotomy or chelation therapy. FerriScan can reliably and accurately screen for iron overload in cancer survivors who have a history of blood transfusions, overcoming the poor sensitivity and specificity of serum ferritin and avoiding reliance on transfusion records, which can be incomplete.

For more information on FerriScan and its clinical benefits for monitoring and managing iron overloaded patients please watch this short video:


Dr Angela Smith, Assistant Professor, Division of Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation at the University of Minnesota, commented on the importance of monitoring and managing iron overload in cancer survivors:

“Cancer survivors with excess iron may be exposed to this iron for years ahead if untreated, so timely monitoring and reduction of iron burden is an important goal. In our recent data we found even at relatively low thresholds of serum ferritin, liver iron concentration can be elevated in these patients. Conversely, a high serum ferritin, which may be caused by inflammation or other factors, may not be reflective of high liver iron concentration.

FerriScan provides us with a standardized and reliable tool to screen cancer survivors and guide treatment where required. FerriScan is especially suitable for pediatrics as it is free-breathing and quick. It is also unaffected by the presence of fat in the liver, which can be an issue in cancer survivors as a result of their therapy. We recommend that all patients who have undergone hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) or those who have received > 10 transfusions should be considered for assessment using FerriScan.”

For further clinical information including information in the literature and guidelines regarding the monitoring of iron overload in cancer survivors please see out Cancer Survivor Fact Sheet:

FerriScan Fact Sheet – Cancer Survivors


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