Epoetin alfa therapy increases hemoglobin levels and improves quality of life in patients with cancer-related anemia who are not receiving chemotherapy and patients with anemia who are receiving chemotherapy

I. Quirt, C. Robeson, C. Y. Lau, M. Kovacs, S. Burdette-Radoux, S. Dolan, Shou-Ching Tang, M. McKenzie, F. Couture

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: To evaluate efficacy, safety, and quality of life (QOL) changes with epoetin alfa therapy for anemia in patients with nonmyeloid malignancies. Patients and Methods: Anemic cancer patients were enrolled onto this prospective, open-label study from 34 centers across Canada. The trial had two cohorts: patients who were and were not receiving chemotherapy during the 16-week study. All patients initially received epoetin alfa 150 IU/kg subcutaneously three times per week. The dose was doubled after 4 weeks for patients who did not experience sufficient response. Results: Of the 183 patients enrolled in the nonchemotherapy cohort, statistically significant and clinically relevant improvements in QOL were observed with epoetin alfa therapy using both the FACT-An questionnaire and linear analog scale assessment. Hemoglobin levels increased significantly (P < .001; mean increase 2.5 g/dL from baseline to end of study) and these increases were positively correlated with improved QOL and change in Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) scores. There was a significant reduction in the percentage of patients who required blood transfusions. The 218 patients in the chemotherapy cohort also experienced significant improvements in QOL, decreased transfusion use, and increased hemoglobin levels that correlated with QOL improvements and change in ECOG scores. Epoetin alfa was well-tolerated in both cohorts. Conclusion: Epoetin alfa administered to patients with cancer-related anemia for up to 16 weeks resulted in significantly improved QOL, increased hemoglobin levels, and decreased transfusion use. These benefits were observed in cancer patients who were not receiving chemotherapy as well as those who were.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4126-4134
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Volume19
Issue number21
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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