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Clin Exp Med. 2008 Dec;8(4):225-7. doi: 10.1007/s10238-008-0003-3. Epub 2008 Sep 30.

Darbepoetin in the control of cancer-related anaemia.

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Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Roma La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.


A group of 62 patients with different advanced cancers and with an anaemic condition were treated with a short course of darbepoetin administered on two different schedules as supportive therapy. The response rates (i.e. a haemoglobin increase of at least 1 g in 1 month) were 45.7% overall, 52.3% with weekly administration and 39% with 3-weekly administration. Darbepoetin activity was higher in men than in women, in younger patients than in older patients and in moderately anaemic patients than in severely anaemic patients, but these differences were not significant. Darbepoetin administration appears to be useful in rapidly reversing anaemia related to advanced cancer. However, the results reported in the literature for alpha-erythropoietin remain more appealing.

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