The Pitfalls of Global Hemostasis Assays in Myeloproliferative Neoplasms and Future Challenges
Seminars in thrombosis and hemostasis. 2023
Venous and arterial thromboembolism are major complications of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), comprising polycythemia vera (PV), essential thrombocythemia (ET), and primary myelofibrosis (PMF). Global hemostasis assays, including thrombin generation assay (TGA), rotational thromboelastometry (ROTEM), and thromboelastography (TEG), have been proposed as biomarkers to assess the hypercoagulability and thrombotic risk stratification in MPNs. We performed a systematic literature review on the parameters of TGA, ROTEM, and TEG and their association with thrombotic events and treatment strategies in MPNs. Thirty-two studies (all cross-sectional) were included, which collectively enrolled 1,062 controls and 1,608 MPN patients. Among the 13 studies that reported arterial or venous thrombosis, the overall thrombosis rate was 13.8% with 6 splanchnic thromboses reported. Out of the 27 TGA studies, there was substantial heterogeneity in plasma preparation and trigger reagents employed in laboratory assays. There was a trend toward increased peak height among all MPN cohorts versus controls and higher endogenous thrombin potential (ETP) between ET patients versus controls. There was an overall trend toward lower ETP between PV and PMF patients versus. controls. There were no substantial differences in ETP between JAK2-positive versus JAK2-negative MPNs, prior history versus negative history of thrombotic events, and among different treatment strategies. Of the three ROTEM studies, there was a trend toward higher maximum clot firmness and shorter clot formation times for all MPNs versus controls. The three TEG studies had mixed results. We conclude that the ability of parameters from global hemostasis assays to predict for hypercoagulability events in MPN patients is inconsistent and inconclusive. Further prospective longitudinal studies are needed to validate these biomarker tools so that thrombotic potential could be utilized as a primary endpoint of such studies.
Ferric carboxymaltose infusion versus oral iron supplementation for preoperative iron deficiency anaemia in patients with colorectal cancer (FIT): a multicentre, open-label, randomised, controlled trial
The Lancet. Haematology. 2023
BACKGROUND A third of patients with colorectal cancer who are eligible for surgery in high-income countries have concomitant anaemia associated with adverse outcomes. We aimed to compare the efficacy of preoperative intravenous and oral iron supplementation in patients with colorectal cancer and iron deficiency anaemia. METHODS In the FIT multicentre, open-label, randomised, controlled trial, adult patients (aged 18 years or older) with M0 stage colorectal cancer scheduled for elective curative resection and iron deficiency anaemia (defined as haemoglobin level of less than 7·5 mmol/L (12 g/dL) for women and less than 8 mmol/L (13 g/dL) for men, and a transferrin saturation of less than 20%) were randomly assigned to either 1-2 g of ferric carboxymaltose intravenously or three tablets of 200 mg of oral ferrous fumarate daily. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients with normalised haemoglobin levels before surgery (≥12 g/dL for women and ≥13 g/dL for men). An intention-to-treat analysis was done for the primary analysis. Safety was analysed in all patients who received treatment. The trial was registered at ClincalTrials.gov, NCT02243735, and has completed recruitment. FINDINGS Between Oct 31, 2014, and Feb 23, 2021, 202 patients were included and assigned to intravenous (n=96) or oral (n=106) iron treatment. Treatment began a median of 14 days (IQR 11-22) before surgery for intravenous iron and 19 days (IQR 13-27) for oral iron. Normalisation of haemoglobin at day of admission was reached in 14 (17%) of 84 patients treated intravenously and 15 (16%) of 97 patients treated orally (relative risk [RR] 1·08 [95% CI 0·55-2·10]; p=0·83), but the proportion of patients with normalised haemoglobin significantly increased for the intravenous treatment group at later timepoints (49 [60%] of 82 vs 18 [21%] of 88 at 30 days; RR 2·92 [95% CI 1·87-4·58]; p<0·0001). The most prevalent treatment-related adverse event was discoloured faeces (grade 1) after oral iron treatment (14 [13%] of 105), and no treatment-related serious adverse events or deaths were observed in either group. No differences in other safety outcomes were seen, and the most common serious adverse events were anastomotic leakage (11 [5%] of 202), aspiration pneumonia (5 [2%] of 202), and intra-abdominal abscess (5 [2%] 202). INTERPRETATION Normalisation of haemoglobin before surgery was infrequent with both treatment regimens, but significantly improved at all other timepoints following intravenous iron treatment. Restoration of iron stores was feasible only with intravenous iron. In selected patients, surgery might be delayed to augment the effect of intravenous iron on haemoglobin normalisation. FUNDING Vifor Pharma.
Patients with colorectal cancer and iron deficiency anaemia scheduled for elective curative resection; enrolled in the FIT trial in the Netherlands and Italy (n= 202).
Intravenous ferric carboxymaltose (n= 96).
Oral ferrous fumarate (n= 106).
Treatment began a median of 14 days (IQR 11-22) before surgery for intravenous iron and 19 days (IQR 13-27) for oral iron. Normalisation of haemoglobin at day of admission was reached in 14 (17%) of 84 patients treated intravenously and 15 (16%) of 97 patients treated orally (relative risk [RR] 1.08, 95% CI [0.55, 2.10]), but the proportion of patients with normalised haemoglobin significantly increased for the intravenous treatment group at later timepoints (49 [60%] of 82 vs. 18 [21%] of 88 at 30 days; RR 2.92, 95% CI [1.87, 4.58]).
The ICaRAS randomised controlled trial: Intravenous iron to treat anaemia in people with advanced cancer - feasibility of recruitment, intervention and delivery
Palliative medicine. 2023;:2692163221145604
BACKGROUND Anaemia is highly prevalent in people with advanced, palliative cancer yet sufficiently effective and safe treatments are lacking. Oral iron is poorly tolerated, and blood transfusion offers only transient benefits. Intravenous iron has shown promise as an effective treatment for anaemia but its use for people with advanced, palliative cancer lacks evidence. AIMS To assess feasibility of the trial design according to screening, recruitment, and attrition rates. To evaluate the efficacy of intravenous iron to treat anaemia in people with solid tumours, receiving palliative care. DESIGN A multicentre, randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled trial of intravenous iron (ferric derisomaltose, Monofer(®)). Outcomes included trial feasibility, change in blood indices, and change in quality of life via three validated questionnaires (EQ5D5L, QLQC30, and the FACIT-F) over 8 weeks. (ISRCTN; 13370767). SETTING/PARTICIPANTS People with anaemia and advanced solid tumours who were fatigued with a performance status ⩽2 receiving support from a specialist palliative care service. RESULTS 34 participants were randomised over 16 months (17 iron, 17 placebo). Among those eligible 47% of people agreed to participate and total study attrition was 26%. Blinding was successful in all participants. There were no serious adverse reactions. Results indicated that intravenous iron may be efficacious at improving participant haemoglobin, iron stores and select fatigue specific quality of life measures compared to placebo. CONCLUSION The trial was feasible according to recruitment and attrition rates. Intravenous iron increased haemoglobin and may improve fatigue specific quality of life measures compared to placebo. A definitive trial is required for confirmation.
People with anaemia and advanced solid tumours, enrolled in the Intravenous Iron for Cancer Related Anaemia Symptoms (ICaRAS) trial (n= 34).
Intravenous iron (n= 17).
Placebo: sodium chloride (n= 17).
Outcomes included trial feasibility, change in blood indices, and change in quality of life via three validated questionnaires over 8 weeks. Among those eligible, 47% of people agreed to participate and total study attrition was 26%. Blinding was successful in all participants. There were no serious adverse reactions. Compared to baseline, there was a significant rise in haemoglobin, ferritin, and transferrin saturation % at weeks 4 and 8 for participants in the iron group but not the placebo group. Anaemia resolution was achieved in 39% of intravenous iron participants by week 8 compared to 8% of the placebo group.
Oxidized Regenerated Cellulose Versus Calcium Alginate in Controlling Bleeding From Malignant Wounds: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Cancer nursing. 2023
BACKGROUND There is no consensus on the best intervention for topical management of bleeding in malignant wounds. Although surgical hemostatic dressings are recommended, the use of calcium alginate (CA) is frequent among practitioners. OBJECTIVE The aim of this study was to evaluate the hemostatic efficacy of oxidized regenerated cellulose (ORC) and CA dressing in the management of bleeding from malignant wounds resulting from breast cancer. METHODS This was a randomized open clinical trial. The outcomes measured were total time to hemostasis and the number of hemostatic products used. RESULTS Sixty-one patients were potentially eligible for the study, 1 did not consent, and 32 were assessed to be ineligible, resulting in a sample of 28 who were randomized to 2 study groups. Total time to hemostasis was 93.8 seconds in the ORC group, with an average of 30.1 seconds (95% confidence interval, 18.6-189 seconds), and 67 seconds in the CA group, with an average of 30.4 seconds (confidence interval, 21.7 seconds to imprecise upper limit). The main difference was 26.8 seconds. Kaplan-Meier log-rank test, and Cox model showed no statistical significance (P = 0.894). A total of 18 hemostatic products were used in the CA group and 34 in the ORC group. No adverse effects were identified. CONCLUSIONS Although no significant differences were identified in terms of time, more hemostatic products were used in the ORC group, highlighting the effectiveness of CA. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE Calcium alginate may be the first choice in the management of bleeding in malignant wounds, favoring nursing in the most immediate hemostatic actions.
The efficacy and safety of Trilaciclib in preventing chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
Frontiers in pharmacology. 2023;14:1157251
Background: This study aims to assess the clinical efficacy and safety of Trilaciclib in preventing chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression in adult patients through meta-analysis. Methods: The PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, Clinical Trials, EU Clinical Trials Register, and International Clinical Trials Registry Platform were searched up to 25 October 2022. Only randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing the clinical outcomes of Trilaciclib and Trilaciclib plus chemotherapy for treating malignant cancers in adult patients were included. The primary outcome included the incidence of SN, FN, the DSN, and administration of ESAs, G-CSFs, and RBC or platelet transfusions, while the secondary outcomes included the risk of adverse events (AEs) and severe adverse events (SAEs). Results: In total, four randomized controlled trials (RCTs) involving 345 patients with SCLC or breast cancer were included in this meta-analysis. Results showed that administration of Trilaciclib significantly reduced the occurrence of SN (19.3% vs. 42.2%, OR = 0.31), FN (3.22% vs. 6.72%, OR = 0.47), anemia (20.5% vs. 38.2%, OR = 0.38) and shortened the DSN during treatment. The proportion of patients receiving therapeutic use of ESAs (4.03% vs. 11.8%, OR = 0.31), G-CSF (37.0% vs. 53.5%, OR = 0.52), RBC transfusions (19.8% vs. 29.9%, OR = 0.56) was also statistically lower in the experimental group than in the control group. Meanwhile, the ORR, overall survival, and progress-free survival of the two groups were identical, and no negative impact of Trilaciclib on the clinical outcomes of chemotherapy treatments was found. Other chemotherapy-induced adverse events (AEs) and severe adverse events (SAEs) like diarrhea, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting were identical regardless of Trilaciclib usage. Conclusion: Trilaciclib demonstrated its efficacy in reducing the occurrence of chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression and utilization of supportive care interventions without undermining the clinical benefits of chemotherapy regimens during treatment with an acceptable safety profile.
Comparable Efficacy of Submucosal Platelet-Rich Plasma and Combined Platelet-Rich Plasma Noncrosslinked Hyaluronic Acid Injections in Vulvovaginal Atrophy: A Cancer Survivorship Issue
Journal of women's health (2002). 2023
Background: Cancer survivors are often reluctant to discuss sexual complaints with their oncologists and treatment is frequently unsatisfactory due to paucity of controlled studies and inapplicability of vaginal estrogen. We aimed to evaluate efficacy and tolerability of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections alone or in combination with noncrosslinked hyaluronic acid compared with standard therapy with topical hyaluronic acid gel in the management of cancer therapy-induced or aggravated vulvovaginal atrophy. Materials and Methods: This prospective, parallel-group comparative study was conducted on 45 female patients with a history of cancer and complaining of symptoms of vulvovaginal atrophy either induced or aggravated by cancer treatment. Patients were randomly divided into three groups (A, B, and C). Group A patients received two submucosal vaginal PRP injections, group B patients received two similar injections of PRP combined with noncrosslinked hyaluronic acid, and group C received a topical vaginal hyaluronic acid gel applied three times weekly for 2 months. Main outcome measures were vulvovaginal atrophy symptom severity and vaginal health index (VHI) scores before treatment (v0), 1 month from baseline (v1), 2 months from baseline (v2), and 3 months after the last visit (v3). Results: Both groups A and B showed greater improvement of frequency of intercourse avoidance than group C. Group A showed greater improvement of dyspareunia than group C. Groups A and B demonstrated greater improvement of vaginal pH, fluid volume, and total VHI scores than group C. Short-term topical hyaluronic acid (HA) was not associated with any significant improvement of vaginal elasticity. Group B showed greater improvement of vaginal dryness and moisture scores than group C. Reported adverse events were injection-related pain in all patients of groups A and B and vaginal spotting in groups A and B. Conclusion: Both PRP and PRP-HA have comparable efficacy and patient-reported treatment satisfaction. PRP injections were better tolerated by patients than PRP-HA. Clinical trial registration number: NCT05782920.
Romiplostim for chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia: Efficacy and safety of extended use
Research and practice in thrombosis and haemostasis. 2022;6(3):e12701
BACKGROUND Chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia (CIT) is common during treatment with antineoplastic therapies and may adversely impact chemotherapy dose intensity. There is no approved therapy for CIT. In our recent phase II randomized study, romiplostim led to correction of platelet counts in 85% of treated patients and allowed resumption of chemotherapy, with low rates of recurrent CIT in the first two cycles or 8 weeks of chemotherapy. However, there is a lack of long-term data on the efficacy and safety of romiplostim in CIT. OBJECTIVES To analyze efficacy and safety of romiplostim in the patients in the phase 2 study, who received romiplostim for ≥1 year. PATIENTS/METHODS Twenty-one patients remained on romiplostim for ≥1 year. We analyzed the effect of romiplostim on platelet counts, absolute neutrophil counts, and hemoglobin, as well as impact on ongoing chemotherapy. We also tracked venous or arterial thrombotic events. RESULTS During the study period, romiplostim was effective in preventing reduction of chemotherapy dose intensity due to CIT. Fourteen of the 20 (70%) analyzable patients experienced no episode of CIT, 4 subjects experienced a single chemotherapy dose delay due CIT, and 2 patients required a chemotherapy dose reduction. Platelet counts were preserved throughout the duration of the extension analysis. One patient experienced a proximal deep vein thrombosis, and one patient experienced multiple tumor-related ischemic events. CONCLUSIONS Long-term use of romiplostim for treatment of CIT was effective and safe, with no evidence of resistance or increased risk of thrombosis.
Effect of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents on breast cancer patients: a meta-analysis
Clinical and experimental medicine. 2022
Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) have been reported to increase the risk of death in cancer patients. In this study, we selected breast cancer, which is currently the most prevalent cancer worldwide, for a meta-analysis to re-examine the advantages and disadvantages of using ESAs. All relevant studies were searched by PubMed, Embase, Web of science, and Cochrane Library. Endpoints including mortality, incidence of thrombo-vascular events, hemoglobin, and transfusion requirements were meta-analyzed based on random-effects model or fixed-effect model. 10 studies were finally included, with a total sample size of 6785 patients. The risk of mortality was higher in patients using ESA than in controls (RR 1.07, 95% CI 1.01-1.13, P = 0.03); subgroup analysis found that the mortality rate was higher in patients treating with ESA for > 6 months (RR 1.27, 95% CI 1.05-1.55, P = 0.01) and epoetin α (RR 1.07, 95% CI 1.01-1.14, P = 0.03). The incidence of thrombo-vascular adverse events was higher in patients using ESA than in controls (RR 1.53, 95% CI 1.27-1.86, P < 0.0001). The ESA group was more effective in improving anemia in cancer patients (MD 1.20, 95% CI 0.77-1.63, P < 0.00001). The blood transfusion needs of patients in the ESA group were significantly lower (RR 0.52, 95%CI 0.44-0.60, P < 0.00001). There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups in disease progression-related conditions (HR 1.03, 95%CI 0.95-1.12, P = 0.52). ESAs increase the risk of mortality and the incidence of thrombo-vascular adverse events in breast cancer patients, while reducing their anemia symptoms and transfusion requirements. Registration PROSPERO CRD42022330450.
Randomized trial of sucrosomial iron supplementation in patients with chemotherapy-related anemia treated with ESA
Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer. 2022
BACKGROUND Iron supplementation improves the erythropoiesis-stimulating agents' (ESAs) response in chemotherapy-related anemia. The primary aim of our study is to assess the efficacy of sucrosomial iron, a new oral iron formulation, in cancer patients with chemotherapy-induced anemia treated with ESAs. The secondary objectives included the efficacy into two subgroups of patients (iron replete and functional iron deficiency) between the two study arms, safety and the effect on transfusion need. METHODS In this randomized, multicentre, open-label, phase III clinical trial, 60 cancer patients were enrolled. Each patient was randomly assigned (1:1) to receive 12 weeks of oral sucrosomial iron at the dose of 30 mg daily in combination with ESAs or no supplementation to ESA treatment. The endpoint considered for efficacy was the proportion of patients achieving complete hematological response at 12 weeks (increase in Hb > 2 g/dL from baseline, without RBC transfusions in the previous 28 days or achieving Hb ≥ 12 g/dL). RESULTS There was a statistically significant association between oral sucrosomial iron supplementation in combination with ESAs and the achievement of a complete hematological response. This response was achieved within 12 weeks by 31% of patients in the control group and by 52% of patients supplemented with oral sucrosomial iron. A trend of greater response in sucrosomial iron arm was found in both subgroups. No difference was observed about safety and transfusion need. CONCLUSIONS Sucrosomial iron is well tolerated and its combination with ESAs improves the hematological response in cancer patients with chemotherapy-related anemia. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER AND DATE OF REGISTRATION This study has been reviewed by the Institutional Ethics Committee of the IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo Foundation, Pavia, Italy (28/04/2015; prot. N. 20,150,002,059), and by the Institutional Ethics Committee of the other Italian oncological centers involved in this study.
Intravenous iron versus oral iron versus no iron with or without erythropoiesis- stimulating agents (ESA) for cancer patients with anaemia: a systematic review and network meta-analysis
The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2022;6(6):Cd012633
BACKGROUND Anaemia is common among cancer patients and they may require red blood cell transfusions. Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) and iron might help in reducing the need for red blood cell transfusions. However, it remains unclear whether the combination of both drugs is preferable compared to using one drug. OBJECTIVES To systematically review the effect of intravenous iron, oral iron or no iron in combination with or without ESAs to prevent or alleviate anaemia in cancer patients and to generate treatment rankings using network meta-analyses (NMAs). SEARCH METHODS We identified studies by searching bibliographic databases (CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase; until June 2021). We also searched various registries, conference proceedings and reference lists of identified trials. SELECTION CRITERIA We included randomised controlled trials comparing intravenous, oral or no iron, with or without ESAs for the prevention or alleviation of anaemia resulting from chemotherapy, radiotherapy, combination therapy or the underlying malignancy in cancer patients. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS Two review authors independently extracted data and assessed risk of bias. Outcomes were on-study mortality, number of patients receiving red blood cell transfusions, number of red blood cell units, haematological response, overall mortality and adverse events. We conducted NMAs and generated treatment rankings. We assessed the certainty of the evidence using GRADE. MAIN RESULTS Ninety-six trials (25,157 participants) fulfilled our inclusion criteria; 62 trials (24,603 participants) could be considered in the NMA (12 different treatment options). Here we present the comparisons of ESA with or without iron and iron alone versus no treatment. Further results and subgroup analyses are described in the full text. On-study mortality We estimated that 92 of 1000 participants without treatment for anaemia died up to 30 days after the active study period. Evidence from NMA (55 trials; 15,074 participants) suggests that treatment with ESA and intravenous iron (12 of 1000; risk ratio (RR) 0.13, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.01 to 2.29; low certainty) or oral iron (34 of 1000; RR 0.37, 95% CI 0.01 to 27.38; low certainty) may decrease or increase and ESA alone (103 of 1000; RR 1.12, 95% CI 0.92 to 1.35; moderate certainty) probably slightly increases on-study mortality. Additionally, treatment with intravenous iron alone (271 of 1000; RR 2.95, 95% CI 0.71 to 12.34; low certainty) may increase and oral iron alone (24 of 1000; RR 0.26, 95% CI 0.00 to 19.73; low certainty) may increase or decrease on-study mortality. Haematological response We estimated that 90 of 1000 participants without treatment for anaemia had a haematological response. Evidence from NMA (31 trials; 6985 participants) suggests that treatment with ESA and intravenous iron (604 of 1000; RR 6.71, 95% CI 4.93 to 9.14; moderate certainty), ESA and oral iron (527 of 1000; RR 5.85, 95% CI 4.06 to 8.42; moderate certainty), and ESA alone (467 of 1000; RR 5.19, 95% CI 4.02 to 6.71; moderate certainty) probably increases haematological response. Additionally, treatment with oral iron alone may increase haematological response (153 of 1000; RR 1.70, 95% CI 0.69 to 4.20; low certainty). Red blood cell transfusions We estimated that 360 of 1000 participants without treatment for anaemia needed at least one transfusion. Evidence from NMA (69 trials; 18,684 participants) suggests that treatment with ESA and intravenous iron (158 of 1000; RR 0.44, 95% CI 0.31 to 0.63; moderate certainty), ESA and oral iron (144 of 1000; RR 0.40, 95% CI 0.24 to 0.66; moderate certainty) and ESA alone (212 of 1000; RR 0.59, 95% CI 0.51 to 0.69; moderate certainty) probably decreases the need for transfusions. Additionally, treatment with intravenous iron alone (268 of 1000; RR 0.74, 95% CI 0.43 to 1.28; low certainty) and with oral iron alone (333 of 1000; RR 0.92, 95% CI 0.54 to 1.57; low certainty) may decrease or increase the need for transfusions. Overall mortality We estimated that 347 of 1000 participants without treatment for anaemia died overall. Low-certainty evidence from NMA (71 trials; 21,576 participants) suggests that treatment with ESA and intravenous iron (507 of 1000; RR 1.46, 95% CI 0.87 to 2.43) or oral iron (482 of 1000; RR 1.39, 95% CI 0.60 to 3.22) and intravenous iron alone (521 of 1000; RR 1.50, 95% CI 0.63 to 3.56) or oral iron alone (534 of 1000; RR 1.54, 95% CI 0.66 to 3.56) may decrease or increase overall mortality. Treatment with ESA alone may lead to little or no difference in overall mortality (357 of 1000; RR 1.03, 95% CI 0.97 to 1.10; low certainty). Thromboembolic events We estimated that 36 of 1000 participants without treatment for anaemia developed thromboembolic events. Evidence from NMA (50 trials; 15,408 participants) suggests that treatment with ESA and intravenous iron (66 of 1000; RR 1.82, 95% CI 0.98 to 3.41; moderate certainty) probably slightly increases and with ESA alone (66 of 1000; RR 1.82, 95% CI 1.34 to 2.47; high certainty) slightly increases the number of thromboembolic events. None of the trials reported results on the other comparisons. Thrombocytopenia or haemorrhage We estimated that 76 of 1000 participants without treatment for anaemia developed thrombocytopenia/haemorrhage. Evidence from NMA (13 trials, 2744 participants) suggests that treatment with ESA alone probably leads to little or no difference in thrombocytopenia/haemorrhage (76 of 1000; RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.67 to 1.48; moderate certainty). None of the trials reported results on other comparisons. Hypertension We estimated that 10 of 1000 participants without treatment for anaemia developed hypertension. Evidence from NMA (24 trials; 8383 participants) suggests that treatment with ESA alone probably increases the number of hypertensions (29 of 1000; RR 2.93, 95% CI 1.19 to 7.25; moderate certainty). None of the trials reported results on the other comparisons. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS When considering ESAs with iron as prevention for anaemia, one has to balance between efficacy and safety. Results suggest that treatment with ESA and iron probably decreases number of blood transfusions, but may increase mortality and the number of thromboembolic events. For most outcomes the different comparisons within the network were not fully connected, so ranking of all treatments together was not possible. More head-to-head comparisons including all evaluated treatment combinations are needed to fill the gaps and prove results of this review.