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Vol. 64, No. 2, 2003
Issue release date: January 2003

Prevention of Anemia in Patients with Solid Tumors Receiving Platinum-Based Chemotherapy by Recombinant Human Erythropoietin (rHuEpo): A Prospective, Open Label, Randomized Trial by the Hellenic Cooperative Oncology Group

Bamias A. · Aravantinos G. · Kalofonos C. · Timotheadou N. · Siafaka V. · Vlahou I. · Janinis D. · Pectasides D. · Pavlidis N. · Fountzilas G.
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Objectives: Platinum compounds are commonly associated with significant anemia. Erythropoietin administration has been found effective in correcting anemia in patients with solid tumors receiving chemotherapy. We conducted a randomized, open label study to assess the efficacy of erythropoietin in preventing transfusions and significant anemia (hemoglobin <10 g/dl) in patients with solid tumors receiving platinum-based chemotherapy. Methods: One hundred forty-four patients with hemoglobin <13 g/dl were included in this study (72 in each arm). Patients in the treatment arm received 10,000 U of recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) thrice weekly s.c. during platinum-based chemotherapy, while patients in the control arm received no treatment. Results: All patients were evaluable for efficacy. Transfusions were reduced by the administration of rHuEPO (15.3 vs. 33.3%, p = 0.019), and fewer patients developed significant anemia (16.6 vs. 45.8%, p < 0.0001). Subgroup analysis showed that patients with observed to predicted (O/P) serum erythropoietin levels ≤0.9 and responders to chemotherapy benefited from erythropoietin administration in contrast to patients with O/P >0.9 or non-responders. Conclusions: rHuEPO at a dose of 10,000 U thrice weekly prevents transfusions and development of significant anemia in patients with solid tumors receiving platinum-based chemotherapy.

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Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
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