Some cancer patients may experience iron deficiency and anaemia. Both can result from chronic bleeding associated with certain tumour types (e.g. gastrointestinal tumours) and changes in the utilisation of iron induced by the tumour itself or different types of chemotherapy.
The recently updated version of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology for Cancer- and Chemotherapy-Induced Anaemia1 recommend the use of intravenous (i.v.) iron in cancer patients to treat iron deficiency. These Guidelines acknowledge that i.v. iron has improved efficacy to the more commonly used oral iron, and should be considered in combination with ESA supplementation.
More details available on the NCCN website.
1. National Comprehensive Cancer Network. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®). Cancer- and Chemotherapy-Induced Anaemia. Version 1.2013. Available at: http://www.nccn.org.