Epoetin alpha decreases the number of erythrocyte transfusions in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, lymphoblastic lymphoma, and Burkitt leukemia/lymphoma: Results of a randomized clinical trial

Maria E. Cabanillas, Hagop Kantarjian, Deborah A. Thomas, Gloria N. Mattiuzzi, Michael E. Rytting, Eduardo Bruera, Lianchun Xiao, B. Nebiyou Bekele, Maria C. Foudray, Jorge E. Cortes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Anemia is an expected consequence of intensive chemotherapy regimens administered to patients with acute leukemia. This study was designed to determine whether epoetin alpha would decrease the number of transfusion events and units of packed erythrocytes (PRBCs) transfused, and the secondary objective was to study the effects of epoetin alpha on quality of life (QOL) and complete remission (CR) rates. METHODS: Patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), lymphoblastic lymphoma (LL), or Burkitt lymphoma (BL) who were receiving frontline myelosuppressive chemotherapy were randomized to receive epoetin alpha or no epoetin during the first 6 cycles of their planned chemotherapy. QOL was assessed by using the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS) and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy (FACT)-Anemia questionnaires. RESULTS: Fifty-five patients were randomized to receive epoetin alpha, and 54 patients received no epoetin. Transfusion data were available for 79 of 81 evaluable patients (98%) who completed the treatment/observation period. The trial was stopped early because of poor accrual before the target of 123 evaluable patients was met. A mean of 10.6 units of PRBCs over 5 months were administered to those who received epoetin alpha compared with 13 units for those who did not receive epoetin (P =.04). There was no significant difference in QOL as assessed by the FACT-Anemia or ESAS instruments. The CR rate and the 3-year CR duration were not affected adversely by use of epoetin alpha. CONCLUSIONS: Epoetin alpha decreased the number of PRBC transfusions and did not appear to have a negative impact on remission duration. No difference in QOL was observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)848-855
Number of pages8
JournalCancer
Volume118
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • anemia
  • epoetin
  • leukemia
  • progression-free survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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