BACKGROUND: Anemia is a frequent side effect of imatinib in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Erythropoietic-stimulating agents have been used for treatment of imatinib-induced anemia. There are no data on long-term safety of erythropoietic-stimulating agents in CML patients. METHODS: The records of chronic phase CML patients who received treatment with imatinib were reviewed for use of erythropoietic-stimulating agents and occurrence of thrombotic events. Data on cytogenetic response and survival were analyzed by use of erythropoietic-stimulating agent. RESULTS: A total of 608 patients were included, and 217 patients received erythropoietic-stimulating agents. There were 30 thrombotic episodes. Patients who received erythropoietic-stimulating agents had a higher rate of thrombosis (8.5% vs 2.6%, P = .0025). There was no difference in cytogenetic response rate and survival by use of erythropoietic-stimulating agent. Development of grade 3-4 anemia occurred in 62 (10%) patients and was associated with significantly worse response and survival in patients in late chronic phase. By multivariate analysis, use of erythropoietic-stimulating agents was not a risk factor for event-free survival. CONCLUSIONS: In our cohort of chronic phase CML patients, use of erythropoietic-stimulating agents did not impact survival or cytogenetic response rate, but was associated with a higher thrombosis rate. Severe anemia is associated with worse survival and response.
- Chronic myeloid leukemia
- Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents
- Tyrosine kinase inhibitors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research