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Ann Oncol. 1998 Mar;9(3):255-60.

Recombinant human erythropoietin in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced anemia and prevention of transfusion requirement associated with solid tumors: a randomized, controlled study.

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  • 1Center for Gynecology and Obstetrics, University Hospital, Essen, Germany. carsten.oberhoff@uni-essen.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Anemia is a common side effect of anticancer chemotherapy. Blood transfusion, previously the only available treatment for chemotherapy-induced anemia, may result in some clinical or subclinical adverse effects in the recipients. Recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEPO) provides a new treatment modality for chemotherapy-induced anemia.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

To evaluate the effect of rhEPO on the need for blood transfusions and on hemoglobin (Hb) concentrations, 227 patients with solid tumors and chemotherapy-induced anemia were enrolled in a randomized, controlled, clinical trial. Of 189 patients evaluable for efficacy, 101 received 5000 IU rhEPO daily s.c., while 88 patients received no treatment during the 12-week controlled phase of the study.

RESULTS:

The results demonstrate a statistically significant reduction in the need for blood transfusions (28% vs. 42%, P = 0.028) and in the mean volume of packed red blood cells transfused (152 ml vs. 190 ml, P = 0.044) in patients treated with rhEPO compared to untreated controls. This effect was even more pronounced in patients receiving platinum-based chemotherapy (26% vs. 45%, P = 0.038). During the controlled treatment phase, the median Hb values increased in the rhEPO patients while remaining unchanged in the control group. The response was seen in all tumor types.

CONCLUSIONS:

RhEPO administration at a dose of 5000 IU daily s.c. increases hemoglobin levels and reduces transfusion requirements in chemotherapy-induced anemia, especially during platinum-based chemotherapy.

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PMID:
9602258
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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