Effectiveness of erythropoietin in the treatment of patients with malignancies: methods and preliminary results of a Cochrane review

Cochrane Hematological Malignancies Group, Department I of Internal Medicine, University of Cologne, Kerpener-Street 9, 50924 Cologne, Germany. julia.bohlius@uni-koeln.de.

Best Practice & Research. Clinical Haematology. 2005;18((3):):449-54.
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Cancer and cancer therapy-associated anemia may have an impact on tumor response and overall survival. Additionally, anemia represents an important economic factor. Therefore, therapeutic alternatives such as erythropoietin (EPO) and red blood cell transfusions have to be evaluated systematically. The effectiveness of recombinant human EPO to prevent or alleviate anemia in patients with malignant disease was determined. Randomized controlled trials comparing prophylaxis or treatment of anemia with EPO plus red blood cell transfusion (RBCT) or RBCT only in patients with malignant disease undergoing antineoplastic therapy were included. The endpoints needed for RBCT were hematological response (hemoglobin increase of 2g/dL or hematocrit increase of 6%), tumor response, and overall survival. Medical databases (Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE) and conference proceedings were searched (1985-2001). Full-text and abstract publications were included as well as unpublished data. Data extraction and quality assessment were done in duplicate. All authors were contacted to obtain missing data. Out of 33 eligible studies, 27 trials with 3,287 randomized patients were included.
Study details
Study Design : Systematic Review
Additional Material : Updated by: Bohlius J, Wilson J, Seidenfeld J, Piper M, Schwarzer G, Sandercock J, et al. Erythropoietin or darbepoetin for patients with cancer. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2006 (3): CD003407.
Credits : Bibliographic data from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine