Recent Advances in the Understanding of Iron Metabolism and Related Diseases
There has been a remarkable increase in the understanding of iron absorption, metabolism and cellular homeostasis due to the discovery of a wide range of proteins involved in these processes. Pioneered in the USA by Propper’s group, effective iron chelation therapy by subcutaneous desferrioxamine has become a standard for transfusional iron overload. The development of the T2 * MRI technique by Dudley Pennell then fulfilled the need for a non-invasive reproducible technique for measuring cardiac iron. The most common anaemia in the world still remains iron deficiency. Ernest Beutler’s (1928-2008) investigations on genetic haemochromatosis have been critical in the understanding of genotypic/phenotypic relations in this disease. This special issue of Acta Haematologica is dedicated to him and his extraordinary work in basic and clinical research on iron, as well as in many other areas of medicine. With contributions by clinical scientists who have made major steps to our understanding of iron metabolism and the mechanisms and treatment of iron-related diseases, it will be a great resource for haematologists in the field.