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Gynecol Oncol. 2008 Feb;108(2):317-25. Epub 2007 Nov 26.

Phase III trial to evaluate the efficacy of maintaining hemoglobin levels above 12.0 g/dL with erythropoietin vs above 10.0 g/dL without erythropoietin in anemic patients receiving concurrent radiation and cisplatin for cervical cancer.

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  • 1Toronto Sunnybrook Cancer Center, University of Toronto, 2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, ON, Canada M4N 3M5.



To determine whether maintaining HGB levels > or = 12.0 g/dL with recombinant human erythropoietin (R-HUEPO) compared to "standard" treatment (transfusion for HGB < or = 10.0 g/dL) improves progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS) and local control (LC) in women receiving concurrent weekly cisplatin and radiation (CT/RT) for carcinoma of the cervix. In addition, to determine whether platinum-DNA adducts were associated with clinical characteristics or outcome.


Patients with stage IIB-IVA cervical cancer and HGB < 14.0 g/dL were randomly assigned to CT/RT+/-R-HUEPO (40,000 units s.c. weekly). R-HUEPO was stopped if HGB > 14.0 g/dL. Endpoints were PFS, OS and LC. Platinum-DNA adducts were quantified using immunocytochemistry assay in buccal cells.


Between 08/01 and 09/03, 109 of 114 patients accrued were eligible. Fifty-two received CT/RT and 57 CT/RT+R-HUEPO. The study closed prematurely, with less than 25% of the planned accrual, due to potential concerns for thromboembolic event (TE) with R-HUEPO. Median follow-up was 37 months (range 9.8-50.4 months). PFS and OS at 3 years should be 65% and 75% for CT/RT and 58% and 61% for CT/RT+R-HUEPO, respectively. TE occurred in 4/52 receiving CT/RT and 11/57 with CT/RT+R-HUEPO, not all considered treatment related. No deaths occurred from TE. High-platinum adducts were associated with inferior PFS and LC.


TE is common in cervical cancer patients receiving CT/RT. Difference in TE rate between the two treatments was not statistically significant. The impact of maintaining HGB level > 12.0 g/dL on PFS, OS and LC remains undetermined.

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