Clarence Moore, PharmD, BCPS, BCOP, assistant professor at Shenandoah University in Ashburn, Virginia, discussed the potential complications for patients with beta thalassemia associated with iron overload and the significance of chelation therapy.
Can you discuss the seriousness of iron overload as a result of blood transfusions in patients with beta thalassemia and the role of chelation therapy?
When you look at the iron overload that we see with these individuals that have beta thalassemia, it's probably one of the biggest issues that we'll tend to see because of the fact that iron overload can deposit in certain organs, whether that be the heart, the pancreas, or the liver—we can start to see some organ dysfunction. Chelation therapy is huge. Being able to utilize chelation therapy in the pediatric setting, I think has been monumental in the prevention of this iron overload as well as the prolonging of life.