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Eur J Haematol. 1997 Apr;58(4):251-6.

Recombinant human erythropoietin in the treatment of cancer-related anaemia.

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Department of Internal Medicine (Cancer Research), West German Cancer Center, University of Essen Medical School, Germany.


The efficacy and safety of recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEPO) were tested when given subcutaneously (s.c.) in an escalating dose of 2000-10,000 units (U) daily in 60 patients with cancer-related anaemia (CRA). A positive response, defined as an increase in haemoglobin more than 2 g/dl and independence of blood transfusions was observed in 23 of 48 evaluable patients (48%) within a median of 8 wk. In detail, rhEPO corrected anaemia in 11 of 14 patients (79%) with malignant lymphoma, in 8 of 15 patients (53%) with multiple myeloma and in 4 of 10 patients (40%) with a solid tumour. The median dose of rhEPO in successful cases was 5000 U daily. Four patients with agnogenic myeloid metaplasia and 5 with myelodysplastic disorder failed to respond to rhEPO. No patient had any severe side effects. Pretreatment serum erythropoietin levels appeared to be a weak predictor for response to rhEPO treatment. In conclusion, rhEPO seems to be safe and effective in correcting CRA in certain groups of patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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