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Cancer Radiother. 2008 Mar;12(2):126-33.

[Standards & options: recommendations for the use of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESA) in anaemic cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy (2007 update)].

[Article in French]

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oncologue radiothérapeute, centre Alexis-Vautrin, Nancy.



Beginning 1998, a working group of specialists convened by the guidelines department (Standards, Option and Recommendations: SOR) of the National French Federation of Comprehensive Cancer Centres (FNCLCC) published then regularly updated Recommendations relative to the use of ESA(epoetin alfa, epoetin bêta, darbepoetin) in anaemic patients with cancer. This article presents the updated Recommendations set up in 2007.


This updating process is based on the methodology developed and used in the "Standards, Options: Recommendations" programme. The methodological approach combines systematic review with the judgement of a multidisciplinary group of experts. On the basis of analysis of literature, the conclusions and their level of evidence are established. Then, the conclusions accompanied by experts' judgement lead to the Recommendations. A Recommendation is a proposal of one or several clinical attitudes intended to improve cancer patient care. Before publication, the RPC-SOR are re-examined by independent reviewers selected according to the same principles as the group of expert writers.


New data, relative to the "use of ESA in anaemic cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy", didn't lead to update the latest Recommendations validated in 2003. However, new data relative to the "use of ESA in anaemic prophylaxis among adult patients with cancer" and to the "use of iron with ESA in cancer patients" were sufficient to generate either major or minor modifications to the initial Recommendations.


Thus, it appears relevant to re-examine these Recommendations according to a systematic monitoring process which should be renewed in two years.

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