rhEPO in anemia associated with solid tumors and chemotherapy

  • M. R. Nowrousian


Patients with cancer frequently develop anemia, related either to the malignant disease itself or to the effects of treatment. The frequency of anemia, however, depends on the type and stage of malignant disease and the type and intensity of treatment. Important factors for transfusion requirement are the degree of anemia, the age of patients and the presence of additional disorders, particularly those of the cardiovascular and pulmonary system. In a retrospective study, 18% of patients with various types of solid tumours receiving chemotherapy required red blood cell (RBC) transfusions, and among them, those with lung cancer had the highest rate (34%) of transfusion requirements (Skillings et al. 1993, 1995). In another study including 2719 patients with solid tumors receiving chemotherapy, 33% of patients required at least one blood transfusion during the course of chemotherapy and 16% multiple transfusions (Barrett-Lee et al. 2000). The mean proportion of patients with Hb levels less than 11 g/dl rose from 17% before the first cycle, to 38% by the sixth, despite the transfusions in 33% of patients. In a recent comprehensive review of chemotherapy trials, the incidence of anemia was generally reported to be high, and patients with lung cancer or ovarian cancer appeared to develop more frequently severe anemia (Grade 3 to 4, Hb level < 8 g/dl) than patients with other types of solid tumors. Severe anemia was observed in up to 54% of patients with lung cancer and in up to 42% of those with ovarian cancer (Groopman and Itri 1999).


Recombinant Human Erythropoietin Anemic Cancer Patient Recombinant Human Erythro Subcutaneous Erythropoietin Novel Erythropoiesis Stimulate Protein 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Internal Medicine (Cancer Research), West German Cancer CenterUniversity of Essen Medical SchoolEssenGermany

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