Recombinant human erythropoietin therapy for anemic cancer patients receiving cisplatin chemotherapy.

D. H. Henry, B. J. Brooks, D. C. Case, E. Fishkin, R. Jacobson, A. M. Keller, J. Kugler, J. Moore, R. T. Silver, A. M. Storniolo, R. I. Abels, D. S. Gordon, R. Nelson, K. Larholt, E. Bryant, S. Rudnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

74 Scopus citations

Abstract

PURPOSE: To assess whether the administration of recombinant human erythropoietin (r-HuEPO) would increase the hematocrit, reduce the requirement for transfusion, and improve the quality of life in anemic cancer patients receiving myelosuppressive, cisplatin-based chemotherapy. PATIENTS AND METHODS: One hundred thirty-two anemic cancer patients receiving cyclic, cisplatin-containing, myelosuppressive chemotherapy were evaluated. Patients received either r-HuEPO (150 U/kg) or placebo, subcutaneously, three times a week for 3 months. Responses were assessed by measuring changes in hemoglobin/hematocrit, transfusion requirement, and quality of life. RESULTS: The mean hematocrit increased by 6.0 percentage points in the r-HuEPO group versus 1.3 in the placebo group. A decrease in transfusion requirement did not reach significance over all 3 months, but there was a significant reduction in the percentage of patients transfused in the second and third months (27% r-HuEPO vs. 56% placebo) and a trend toward reduction in the mean total number of units transfused (1.20 units r-HuEPO vs. 2.02 units placebo), suggesting a lag of 1 month before r-HuEPO can affect the transfusion requirement. Pretreatment serum erythropoietin levels were lower in responders than in nonresponders (73.5 IU/L and 86.3 IU/L means, respectively). However, the magnitude of this difference was not helpful in defining which patients were likely to respond. There was a significant improvement in overall quality of life between the two treatment arms in favor of the r-HuEPO-treated group. There were no significant adverse effects associated with r-HuEPO. CONCLUSIONS: r-HuEPO is safe and can cause a significant improvement in the hematocrit and quality of life of anemic cancer patients receiving myelosuppressive, cisplatin-based chemotherapy. After 1 month of r-HuEPO, there is also a reduction in transfusion requirement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-260
Number of pages9
JournalThe cancer journal from Scientific American
Volume1
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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    Henry, D. H., Brooks, B. J., Case, D. C., Fishkin, E., Jacobson, R., Keller, A. M., Kugler, J., Moore, J., Silver, R. T., Storniolo, A. M., Abels, R. I., Gordon, D. S., Nelson, R., Larholt, K., Bryant, E., & Rudnick, S. (1995). Recombinant human erythropoietin therapy for anemic cancer patients receiving cisplatin chemotherapy. The cancer journal from Scientific American, 1(4), 252-260.