AffiliationCRC Department of Medical Oncology, Christie Hospital NHS Trust, Manchester, UK.
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AbstractPatients with cancer have inappropriately low levels of endogenous erythropoietin for the degree of anemia and further suppression of erythropoiesis results from chemotherapy. Patients with lung cancer, in particular, require a high frequency of transfusions, as they are unable to tolerate the symptoms of anemia due to their underlying pulmonary disease and, often, their age. Data from phase I and II trials indicated that epoetin alfa could increase hemoglobin concentration and reduce transfusion requirements. The beneficial response was dose dependent. These findings were confirmed in a series of three double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter phase III trials. Clinical trial evidence indicates that 150 IU/kg epoetin alfa three times weekly effectively treats anemia and decreases transfusion requirements in most cancer patients after the first month of chemotherapy. Furthermore, epoetin alfa will reduce the degree of anemia and markedly reduce the need for transfusions, thereby preventing anemia in patients undergoing multiple cycles of platinum-based combination chemotherapy. Epoetin alfa is well tolerated and shows marked activity in preventing anemia and reducing blood transfusion requirements in patients undergoing cyclic chemotherapy.
CitationManagement of chemotherapy-induced anemia in solid tumors. 1998, 25 (3 Suppl 7):23-6 Semin. Oncol.
JournalSeminars in Oncology
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