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Coll Antropol. 2008 Jun;32(2):615-22.

Treatment of cancer-related anemia.

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Department of Oncology, University Hospital Center Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia.


Anemia with consequent tissue hypoxia is common problem in cancer patients. Developed via various patophysiological mechanisms, it has deleterious effect on quality of life and survival of patients with cancer. Recognition of symptoms and timely initiation of treatment improve patients' quality of life, as well as efficacy of oncological treatment. Red blood cells transfusions are well known and efficient way of anemia correction. They are "golden standard" in treatment of cancer-related anemia today, and are unavoidable in almost all patients with hemoglobin concentration below 80 g/L. Newest therapy guidelines in developed countries, supported by recent literature, encourage use of recombinant human erythropoietin (rHu-EPO), although detailed meta-analyses and prospective randomized clinical trials have shown that rHu-EPO decreases the need for transfusions in only 9-45% patients with cancer, only if they have mild anemia, rHu-EPO increases incidence of thromboembolic events, and suspicion arises that it supports tumor cells growth and multiplication. Therefore, it is necessary to define subgroups of patients which are best candidates for rHu-EPO therapy, to accomplish lower intensity of transfusion therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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