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Curr Oncol. 2007 Oct;14(5):209-17.

Canadian supportive care recommendations for the management of anemia in patients with cancer.

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  • 1Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, Ontario.


Anemia is a common finding in cancer patients, most often as a result of chemotherapy. Management of anemia requires a comprehensive approach of appropriate diagnosis, exclusion of reversible causes, use of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAS), and iron supplementation. Recently, consensus guidelines on the management of chemotherapy-induced anemia were published in Europe and the United States. The present review is intended to be a practical guide for Canadian physicians, based on published guidelines, but specifically tailored to the Canadian environment. Recommendations for the use of ESAS are presented, including initiation, target hemoglobin, dosing and adjustments, monitoring, and re-initiation. Issues of safety are also addressed, including thromboembolic risk, impact on survival, and tumour progression. The importance of iron metabolism and the use of iron supplementation (both oral and parenteral) is discussed.


Canadian recommendations; anemia; cancer; chemotherapy-induced anemia; cia; erythropoiesis-stimulating agent; esa; iron; safety; supportive care

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