The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in lower-risk, transfusion-dependent patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) treated with deferasirox. A secondary objective was to investigate the relationship between HRQOL, serum ferritin levels and transfusion dependency.
PATIENTS AND METHODS:
This was a prospective multicentre study enrolling 159 patients, of whom 152 received at least one dose of deferasirox. HRQOL was assessed with the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-Core 30 (EORTC QLQ-C30) at baseline and then at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. Primary analysis was performed estimating mean HRQOL scores over time by a linear mixed model on selected scales.
The median age of treated patients was 72 years (range 24-87 years). No statistically significant changes over time were found in mean scores for global health status/quality of life (p=0.564), physical functioning (p=0.409) and fatigue (p=0.471) scales. Also, no significant changes were found for constipation (p=0.292), diarrhoea (p=0.815) and nausea and vomiting (p=0.643). Serum ferritin levels were not associated with HRQOL outcomes. A higher patient-reported baseline pain severity was an independent predictive factor of an earlier achievement of transfusion independence with a HR of 1.032 (99% CI 1.004 to 1.060; p=0.003).
HRQOL of transfusion-dependent patients with MDS receiving deferasirox therapy remains stable over time. HRQOL assessment might also provide important predictive information on treatment outcomes.