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Semin Oncol. 2001 Apr;28(2 Suppl 8):49-53.

The impact of hemoglobin levels on treatment outcomes in patients with cancer.

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Department of Haematology, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK.


Clinical trials and surveys have shown that a majority of patients with cancer have low hemoglobin levels as a result of the disease and/or treatment. Clinical trials also have shown that the impact of anemia may be more insidious and far-reaching than generally appreciated. Specifically, studies have shown that low hemoglobin levels have significant impact on treatment outcomes, including survival. The mechanisms by which treatment efficacy and survival are compromised have not been fully elucidated but may include cellular compromise (eg, impaired tumor oxygenation), or more general patient compromise (eg, decreased quality of life and treatment delivery). Recent studies have suggested that increasing hemoglobin levels with recombinant human erythropoietin (r-HuEPO, epoetin alfa) have resulted in better outcomes following radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and the combined-treatment modality.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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