The Significance of Iron Chelation Therapy in Lower Risk MDS

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Release Date: April 22, 2015
Expiration Date: April 22, 2016

Expected time to complete this activity as designed: 30 minutes
There are no fees for participating in or receiving credit for this online activity.

Program Overview

Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are clonal, hematopoietic stem cell diseases which are predominate in an elderly population and present with a variable cytopenia in the presence of a generally cellular bone marrow. In the United States, approximately 13,000 new cases of MDS are diagnosed each year, and the number of new cases diagnosed seems to be increasing as the average age of the population increases. An important prognostic determinant of MDS is the risk of progression to acute myeloid leukemia (AML) which happens in approximately a third of the cases. The Revised International Prognostic Scoring System, or IPSS-R, is the gold standard which is used to stratify patients into those with lower (very low, low, or intermediate risk) or higher (high, very high) risk disease. Treatment is more aggressive for those with higher risk of transformation because their survival is shorter, but for those with lower risk disease, a longer survival is almost invariably marked by worsening cytopenias along with a need for repeated transfusions which then puts them at risk of iron overload.

Join Azra Raza, MD, professor of medicine and director of the MDS Center at Columbia University in New York City as she presents a very common case of an elderly female patient who is diagnosed with MDS and elevated iron in a discussion of which MDS patients may benefit most from iron chelation therapy and why.

Target Audience

This activity is designed for physicians, pharmacists, physician assistants, and other health care professionals who have an interest in enhancing their clinical skills in MDS.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this educational activity, participants should be able to:

  • Recall the risks associated with transfusion dependency and iron overload to low-risk MDS patients
  • Identify which MDS patients may benefit most from iron chelation therapy, and methods to measure it
  • Relate available iron chelation therapies (ICT), when they should be integrated into MDS treatment planning, and how frequently the patient should be monitored for iron overload


The Significance of Iron Chelation Therapy in Lower Risk MDS – Azra Raza, MD

Instructions for Participation and Credit

This activity is eligible for credit through April 22, 2016. After this date, this activity will expire and no further credit will be awarded.

  1. Read the target audience, learning objectives, and faculty disclosures.
  2. You may be asked to complete a short pre-test before accessing the educational content. This must be completed in order to move forward in the activity.
  3. Complete the educational content as designed.
  4. Complete the post-test. To receive a certificate, you must receive a passing score of 70%.
  5. Complete the activity evaluation survey to provide feedback and information useful for future programming.
  6. Certificates for CME credit may be printed immediately after successfully completing the post-test and activity evaluation. Pharmacist credit will be uploaded to CPE Monitor 4 weeks following receipt of a completed, qualified form.

Faculty Biography

Azra Raza, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director, MDS Center
Columbia University Medical Center
New York, New York

Dr. Azra Raza completed her medical education in Pakistan, training in internal medicine at the University of Maryland, Franklin Square Hospital, and Georgetown/VA Medical Center in Washington, DC, followed by her fellowship in medical oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York. She is currently the director of the MDS Center at Columbia University in New York City.

Dr. Raza serves on numerous national and international panels as a reviewer, consultant, and advisor, and is well known internationally for several landmark observations related to the biology and treatment of MDS. She has published the results of her laboratory research and clinical trials in prestigious, peer-reviewed journals such as The New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, Blood, PloS Med, PloS One, Cancer, Cancer Research, British Journal of Hematology, Leukemia, and Leukemia Research.

During her career, Dr. Raza has established a highly productive translational myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) research program which includes a tissue repository containing more than 50,000 samples from MDS patients. She belongs to that rare group of investigators who are adept at both basic and clinical research. Her basic research is therapy-driven and is marked by her tireless efforts to move the advances in the laboratory to the bedside with alacrity for the improvement of treatment outcome of MDS patients.


Accreditation Statement: MediCom Worldwide, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
Designation Statement: MediCom Worldwide, Inc. designates this enduring material for a maximum of 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
MediCom Worldwide, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. This activity is acceptable for 0.5 contact hours of Continuing Education Credit. Universal Activity Number: 827-0000-15-020-H01-P. Knowledge-based CPE activity.

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As an organization accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and California State Board of Registered Nursing, MediCom Worldwide, Inc. requires everyone who is a position to control the content of an educational activity to disclose all relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest. The ACCME defines “relevant financial relationships” as financial relationships in any amount, occurring within the past 12 months, including financial relationships of a spouse or life partner, that could create a conflict of interest. Accordingly, the following disclosures were made.

Faculty Disclosure

Dr. Azra Raza has received honoraria related to the development of educational materials from Novartis AG and speakers’ bureau activities from Genoptix–a Novartis Company.

Planning Committee Disclosures

The individuals listed below from MediCom Worldwide, Inc. reported the following for this activity: Joan Meyer, RN, MHA, executive director, and Eugene R. Tombler, PhD, FACME, medical director, oncology, have no relevant financial relationships.

Peer Reviewer Disclosure

In accordance with MediCom Worldwide, Inc. policy, all content is reviewed by external independent peer reviewers for balance, objectivity and commercial bias. The peer reviewers have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Off-Label Disclosures/Investigational Disclosures

This educational activity may contain discussion of published and/or investigational uses of agents that are not indicated by the FDA. The opinions expressed in the educational activity are those of the faculty. Please refer to the official prescribing information for each product for discussion of approved indications, contraindications, and warnings. Further, attendees/participants should appraise the information presented critically and are encouraged to consult appropriate resources for any product or device mentioned in this program.

Dr. Raza has indicated that she does not intend to discuss off-label uses of drugs, mechanical devices, biologics or diagnostics approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the US.

Dr. Raza has indicated that she does not intend to discuss investigational drugs, mechanical devices, biologics or diagnostics not approved by the FDA for use in the US.

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Provided by MediCom Worldwide, Inc.
This activity is supported by an educational grant from Celgene Corporation.

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