The impact of red blood cell transfusion on mortality and treatment efficacy in patients treated with radiation: A systematic review
Clinical and translational radiation oncology. 2022;33:23-29
INTRODUCTION Packed red blood cell (RBC) transfusion is frequently used in patients undergoing radiotherapy (RT) because retrospective data suggest that anemic patients may respond sub-optimally to RT. No high-quality evidence currently exists to guide transfusion practices and establish hemoglobin (Hb) transfusion thresholds for this patient population, and practice varies significantly across centers. This systematic review investigated whether maintaining higher Hb via transfusion in radiation oncology patients leads to improved outcomes. METHODS We performed a literature search of studies comparing RBC transfusion thresholds in radiation oncology patients. Included studies assessed patients receiving RT for malignancy of any diagnosis or stage. Excluded studies did not evaluate Hb or transfusion as an intervention or outcome. The primary outcome was overall survival. Secondary outcomes included locoregional control, number of transfusions and adverse events. RESULTS One study met inclusion criteria. The study pooled results from two randomized controlled trials that stratified anemic patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma to RBC transfusion versus no transfusion. The study found no significant differences in overall survival or locoregional control after five years, despite increased Hb levels in the transfused group. We conducted a narrative review by extracting data from 10 non-comparative studies involving transfusion in patients receiving RT. Results demonstrated no consistent conclusions regarding whether transfusions improve or worsen outcomes. CONCLUSIONS There is a lack of data on the effects of RBC transfusion on outcomes in patients undergoing RT. Well-designed prospective studies are needed in this area.
Patients undergoing radiotherapy (11 studies).
Red blood cell transfusion.
Only one study met the inclusion criteria which pooled results from two randomized controlled trials (DAHANCA 5 and 7). The study found no significant differences in overall survival or locoregional control after five years, despite increased haemoglobin levels in the transfused group (n= 235) vs. no transfused group (n= 230). A narrative review was conducted by extracting data from 10 other non-comparative studies involving transfusion in patients receiving radiotherapy. There were no consistent conclusions from these 10 studies on whether transfusions improve or worsen outcomes.
Efficacy of Different Interventions to Reduce Pre- or Perioperative Blood Transfusion Rate in Patients with Colorectal Cancer: A Network Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
Current oncology (Toronto, Ont.). 2021;28(4):3214-3226
BACKGROUND The high proportion of blood transfusions before and during surgery carries unnecessary risk and results in poor prognosis in colorectal cancer patients. Different pharmacological interventions (i.e., iron supplement or recombinant erythropoietin) to reduce blood transfusion rates have shown inconclusive results. METHODS This network meta-analysis (NMA) consisted of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing the efficacy of different pharmacologic interventions (i.e., iron supplementation or recombinant erythropoietin) to reduce the blood transfusion rate. NMA statistics were conducted using the frequentist model. Results: Seven RCTs (688 participants) were included in this study. The NMA demonstrated that the combination of high-dose recombinant human erythropoietin and oral iron supplements was associated with the least probability of receiving a blood transfusion [odds ratio = 0.24, 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs): 0.08 to 0.73] and best reduced the amount of blood transfused if blood transfusion was necessary (mean difference = -2.62 U, 95% CI: -3.55 to -1.70 U) when compared to the placebo/control group. None of the investigated interventions were associated with any significantly different dropout rate compared to the placebo/control group. CONCLUSIONS The combination of high-dose recombinant human erythropoietin and oral iron supplements might be considered as a choice for reducing the rate of blood transfusion in patients with colorectal cancer. However, future large-scale RCT with long-term follow-up should be warranted to approve the long-term safety.
Restrictive versus liberal transfusion strategies in patients with malignant neoplasm -a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
Transfus Apher Sci. 2020;:102825
BACKGROUND Transfusion strategies are involving the survival and prognosis of patients with malignant neoplasm and the rational utilization of medical resources, but there are still controversy between different transfusion strategies. The aim of this article is to compare the benefit and harm of restrictive and liberal red blood cell (RBC) transfusion strategies in patients with malignant tumors. METHODS We searched articles in the databases of PubMed, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, Embase and major conference proceedings, identified all randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and compared restrictive transfusion strategies with those that are liberal until MARCH 18, 2019. We used risk ratio (RR) and and 95 % confidence interval (95 %CI) to calculate the results of dichotomous variables, and the study heterogeneity was assessed by using the I(2) statistics. Also, we did sensitivity analysis and quality assessment. RESULTS Restrictive transfusion policies appear to have no effect on all-cause mortality (RR 1.33; 95 % CI 0.74-2.38; P = 0.34), compared with liberal policies. 2 trials including 498 patients were included of renal replacement therapy (RR 1.38; 95 % CI, 0.73-2.59; P = 0.32; I(2) = 0%). Myocardial infarction (RR 1.17; 95 % CI, 0.33-4.1; P = 0.81; I(2) = 0%) and ICU readmission were also mentioned in these articles (RR 1.19; 95 % CI, 0.7-2.04; P = 0.52; I(2) = 0%). However, the RR of hospital length can't be evaluated. CONCLUSION Restrictive transfusion strategies were not associated with all-cause mortality and other clinical outcomes in malignant tumors, and may be more suitable for patients' quality of life and medical economy than liberal.
Patients with malignant tumours (3 randomised controlled trials (RCTs) n= 587).
Restrictive red blood cell transfusion strategy (n= 311).
Liberal red blood cell transfusion strategy (n= 276).
Restrictive transfusion strategies were not associated with all-cause mortality and other clinical outcomes in malignant tumours. Secondary outcomes reported included incidence of renal replacement therapy (2 RCTs, n=498; RR 1.38), myocardial infarction (RR 1.17) and intensive care unit readmission (RR 1.19).
Perioperative transfusion and the prognosis of colorectal cancer surgery: a systematic review and meta-analysis
World journal of surgical oncology. 2019;17(1):7
BACKGROUND Perioperative transfusion can reduce the survival rate in colorectal cancer patients. The effects of transfusion on the short- and long-term prognoses are becoming intriguing. OBJECTIVE This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to define the effects of perioperative transfusion on the short- and long-term prognoses of colorectal cancer surgery. RESULTS Thirty-six clinical observational studies, with a total of 174,036 patients, were included. Perioperative transfusion decreased overall survival (OS) (hazard ratio (HR), 0.33; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.24 to 0.41; P < 0.0001) and cancer-specific survival (CSS) (HR, 0.34; 95% CI, 0.21 to 0.47; P < 0.0001), but had no effect on disease-free survival (DFS) (HR, 0.17; 95% CI, - 0.12 to 0.47; P = 0.248). Transfusion could increase postoperative infectious complications (RR, 1.89, 95% CI, 1.56 to 2.28; P < 0.0001), pulmonary complications (RR, 2.01; 95% CI, 1.54 to 2.63; P < 0.0001), cardiac complications (RR, 2.20; 95% CI, 1.75 to 2.76; P < 0.0001), anastomotic complications (RR, 1.51; 95% CI, 1.29 to 1.79; P < 0.0001), reoperation(RR, 2.88; 95% CI, 2.05 to 4.05; P < 0.0001), and general complications (RR, 1.86; 95% CI, 1.66 to 2.07; P < 0.0001). CONCLUSION Perioperative transfusion causes a dramatically negative effect on long-term prognosis and increases short-term complications after colorectal cancer surgery.
Survival analysis of intraoperative blood salvage for patients with malignancy disease: A PRISMA-compliant systematic review and meta-analysis
BACKGROUND Intraoperative blood salvage as a blood-saving strategy has been widely used in surgery. Considering its theoretic risk of malignant tumor cells being reinfused and the corresponding blood metastases, the safety of intraoperative blood salvage in cancer surgery remains controversial. METHODS Following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA), we searched the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE and EMBASE to November 2017. We included only studies comparing intraoperative blood salvage with allogeneic blood transfusion. RESULTS This meta-analysis included 9 studies with 4354 patients with 1346 patients in the intraoperative blood salvage group and 3008 patients in the allogeneic blood transfusion group. There were no significant differences in the 5-year overall survival outcome (odds ratio [OR] 1.12; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.80-1.58), 5-year disease-free survival outcome (OR 1.08; 95% CI 0.86-1.35), or 5-year recurrence rate (OR 0.86; 95% CI 0.71-1.05) between the 2 study groups. Subgroup analysis also showed no significant differences in the 5-year overall survival outcome (OR 0.97; 95% CI 0.57-1.67) of hepatocellular carcinoma patients in liver transplantation. CONCLUSIONS For patients with malignant disease, intraoperative blood salvage did not increase the tumor recurrence rate and had comparable survival outcomes with allogeneic blood transfusion.
Influence of perioperative leukodeplated red blood cell transfusion on immune function of patients with bladder cancer
Xi Bao Yu Fen Zi Mian Yi Xue Za Zhi = Chinese Journal of Cellular and Molecular Immunology. 2018;34((7)):632-636.
Objective To investigate the effect of leukodeplated red blood cell (RBC) transfusion on immune function of patients with bladder cancer. Methods A total of 48 patients with bladder cancer who required perioperative RBC transfusion were randomized into two groups: 22 received leukodeplated RBC transfusion (Group I) and 26 received suspended RBC transfusion (Group II ). T-cell subgroup, natural killer cell activity, erythrocyte-C3b receptor rosette formation rate, and immunosuppressive acidic protein (IAP) level were determined for the two groups before and after transfusion, and the results were statistically analyzed. Results There was no obvious difference in immune function between the two groups before transfusion. After transfusion, the immune function of both groups was lower. However, it was higher in Group I than in Group II . IAP level was higher after transfusion than before transfusion; however, it was lower in Group I than in Group II . Conclusion Perioperative RBC transfusion can decrease immune function in patients with bladder cancer. Compared with suspended RBC transfusion, leukodeplated RBC transfusion can improve immune function in patients with bladder cancer.
The prognostic role of perioperative allogeneic blood transfusions in gastric cancer patients undergoing curative resection: A systematic review and meta-analysis of non-randomized, adjusted studies
European Journal of Surgical Oncology : the Journal of the European Society of Surgical Oncology and the British Association of Surgical Oncology. 2018;44((4):):404-419
The impact of allogeneic perioperative blood transfusions (APTs) on the prognosis of gastric cancer patients undergoing curative-intent gastrectomy is still a highly debated topic. Two meta-analyses were published in 2015, and new studies report conflicting results. A literature review was conducted using PubMed, Scopus, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, updated to March 1, 2016. Thirty-eight non-randomized studies reporting data on overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS), disease-specific survival (DSS) and postoperative complications (PCs) were included. An inverse variance random-effects meta-analysis was conducted. APTs showed an association with worse OS, DFS, DSS and an increased number of PCs. The hazard ratio (HR) for OS was 1.49, with a 95% confidence interval (95% CI) of 1.32-1.69 (p < .00001; Q-test p = .001, I-squared = 56%). After outlier exclusion, the HR for OS was 1.34 (95% CI = 1.23-1.45, p < .00001; Q-test p = .64, I-squared = 0%). The HR for DFS was 1.48 (95% CI = 1.18-1.86, p = .0007; Q-test p = .31, I-squared = 16%), and the HR for DSS was 1.66 (95% CI = 1.5-2.19, p = .0004; Q-test p = .96, I-squared = 0%). The odds ratio for PCs was 3.33 (95% CI = 2.10-5.29, p < .00001; Q-test p = .14, I-squared = 42%). This meta-analysis showed a significant association between transfusions and OS, DFS, DSS and PCs. The quality of the evidence was low. Aggregation, selection and selective reporting bias were detected. The biases shifted the results towards significance. Further studies using accurate adjustment methods are needed. Until such additional studies are performed, caution in administering transfusions and optimization of cancer patient blood management are warranted.
Randomised feasibility study of a more liberal haemoglobin trigger for red blood cell transfusion compared to standard practice in anaemic cancer patients treated with chemotherapy
Transfusion Medicine (Oxford, England). 2017;28((3):):208-215
OBJECTIVES The primary objective of this feasibility study was to identify quality of life (QoL) scores and symptom scales as tools for measuring patient-reported outcomes (PRO) associated with haemoglobin level in chemotherapy-treated cancer patients. Secondary objectives included comparing QoL and symptoms between randomisation arms. BACKGROUND Anaemia in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy is associated with decreased QoL. One treatment option is red blood cell transfusion (RBCT). However, the optimal haemoglobin trigger for transfusion is unknown. METHODS Patients were randomised to a haemoglobin trigger for RBCT of either < 9.7 g dL-1 (arm A) or < lower normal level, female: 11.5 g dL-1 , male: 13.1 g dL-1 (arm B). Four PROs were used: Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General (FACT-G) and the FACT-Anaemia (FACT-An), a Numeric Rating Scale on symptoms of anaemia and self-reported Performance Status (PS). The association between haemoglobin and PRO variables was assessed using a linear mixed model with random effects. RESULTS A total of 133 patients were enrolled, of which 86 patients received RBCT (28 in arm A, 58 in arm B). Baseline questionnaires were filled out in 79.7% of cases. Haemoglobin levels were significantly correlated with FACT-An, FACT-An Total Outcome Index (TOI), Functional Well-Being, fatigue and PS. Improvement on several PRO variables was observed in both arms after RBCT, with clinically minimal important differences observed in FACT-G, Physical Well-Being, FACT-An, FACT-An TOI, fatigue and dyspnoea. CONCLUSIONS QoL scores of physical and functional domains as well as self-reported anaemia-related symptoms correlated well with haemoglobin level in chemotherapy-treated cancer patients.
Transfusion of irradiated red blood cell units with a potassium adsorption filter: A randomized controlled trial
BACKGROUND The irradiation of red blood cells (RBCs) causes damage of the RBC membrane with increased potassium (K) leak during storage compared with nonirradiated RBC units of similar age. A previous in vitro study showed a mean reduction of K of 94 +/- 5% with a potassium adsorption filter (PAF). STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS A prospective, single-center, nonblinded, randomized controlled trial (RCT) was designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of transfusing irradiated RBC units with the PAF. Patients 18 years of age or older who received irradiated RBC units due to chemotherapy-induced anemia were randomly assigned to receive irradiated RBC units with the PAF (PAF group) or with the standard blood infusion set (control group). Primary outcome measures were safety and efficacy of the PAF (absolute change in hemoglobin [Hb] and K, respectively, in patient's blood values after transfusing the irradiated RBC units with or without the PAF). RESULTS A total of 63 irradiated RBC units were transfused to 17 patients in the control group, and a total of 56 irradiated RBC units were transfused to 13 patients in the PAF group. The absolute change of Hb (9.3 +/- 6.3 g/L vs. 8.1 +/- 5.8 g/L; p = 0.3) and the absolute change of K (-0.01 +/- 0.4 mmol/L vs. -0.01 +/- 0.3 mmol/L; p = 0.2) were comparable between the two groups of the trial. CONCLUSION The transfusion of 1 irradiated RBC unit with the PAF was as safe and efficacious as the transfusion of 1 irradiated RBC unit with the standard blood infusion set in patients with chemotherapy-induced anemia.
How low should we go: a systematic review and meta-analysis of the impact of restrictive red blood cell transfusion strategies in oncology
Cancer Treatment Reviews. 2016;46:1-8.
BACKGROUND Most non-oncologic clinical practice guidelines recommend restrictive allogeneic blood transfusion practices; however, there is a lack of consensus regarding the best transfusion practice in oncology. We conducted a systematic review of the literature to compare the efficacy and safety of restrictive versus liberal transfusion strategies in patients with cancer. METHODS A literature search using MEDLINE, PUBMED and EMBASE identified all controlled studies comparing the use of restrictive with liberal transfusion in adult oncology participants up to August 10, 2015. Two review authors independently assessed studies for inclusion, extracted data and appraised the quality of the included studies. The primary outcomes of interest were blood utilization and all-cause mortality. RESULTS Out of 4241 citations, six studies (3 randomized and 3 non-randomized) involving a total of 983 patients were included in the final review. The clinical context of the studies varied with 3 chemotherapy and 3 surgical studies. The overall risk of bias in all studies was moderate to high. Restrictive transfusion strategies were associated with a 36% reduced risk of receiving a perioperative transfusion (risk ratio (RR) 0.64, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.49-0.83). There was no difference in mortality between the strategies (RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.32-3.18). There were no differences in adverse events reported between the restrictive and liberal transfusion strategies. CONCLUSION Restrictive strategy appears to decrease blood utilization without increasing morbidity or mortality in oncology. This review is limited by a paucity of high quality studies on this topic. Better designed studies are warranted.