Low-dose fludarabine with or without darbepoetin alfa in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia and comorbidity: primary results of the CLL9 trial of the German CLL Study Group
Leukemia & Lymphoma. 2016;57((3)):596-603.
This study was planned as a phase 3 trial to investigate low-dose fludarabine with or without darbepoetin alfa in older patients with previously untreated or treated chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and comorbidity. Due to slow recruitment, the study was terminated prematurely after accrual of 97 patients who, on average, were 74 years old and had a cumulative illness rating scale (CIRS) total score of 5. We report toxicity and efficacy of the study treatment. Grade 3-5 neutropenia and infection were observed in 25% and 10% of patients, respectively. Response was seen in 73% (5% complete remissions). Median event-free and overall survival was 12.2 and 44.8 months, respectively. No differences in outcome were found for patients treated with versus without darbepoetin alfa. In subjects with progressive/recurrent CLL during or after study treatment, overall survival was similar for patients receiving chemotherapy versus chemoimmunotherapy as salvage treatment.
Erythropoietin therapy after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation: a prospective, randomized trial
We conducted a prospective randomized trial to assess hemoglobin (Hb) response to recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEPO) therapy after hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Patients (N = 131) were randomized (1:1) between no treatment (control arm) or erythropoietin at 500 U/kg per week (EPO arm). Patients were also stratified into 3 cohorts: patients undergoing myeloablative HCT with rhEPO to start on day (D)28, patients given nonmyeloablative HCT (NMHCT) with rhEPO to start on D28, and patients also given NMHCT but with rhEPO to start on D0. The proportion of complete correctors (ie, Hb >13 g/dL) before D126 posttransplant was 8.1% in the control arm (median not reached) and 63.1% in the EPO arm (median, 90 days) (P < .001). Hb levels were higher and transfusion requirements decreased (P < .001) in the EPO arm, but not during the first month in the nonmyeloablative cohort starting rhEPO on D0. There was no difference in rates of thromboembolic events or other complications between the 2 arms. This is the first randomized trial to demonstrate that rhEPO therapy hastens erythroid recovery and decreases transfusion requirements when started one month after allogeneic HCT. There was no benefit to start rhEPO earlier after NMHCT. 2014 by The American Society of Hematology.
Darbepoetin-alfa and intravenous iron administration after autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: A prospective multicenter randomized trial
American Journal of Hematology. 2013;88((12):):990-6.
We conducted a randomized study analyzing the impact of darbepoetin alfa (DA) administration with or without intravenous (i.v.) iron on erythroid recovery after autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Patients were randomized between no DA (Arm 1), DA 300 mug every 2 weeks starting on Day 28 after HCT (Arm 2), or DA plus i.v. iron 200 mg on Days 28, 42, and 56 (Arm 3). The proportion achieving complete hemoglobin (Hb) response within 18 weeks (primary end point) was 21% in Arm 1 (n=24), 79% in Arm 2 (n=25), and 100% in Arm 3 (n=23; P<0.0001). Erythropoietic response was shown to be significantly higher in Arm 3 (n=46) than in Arm 2 (n=50; P=0.008), resulting in lower DA use, reduced drug costs, and improved quality of life scores, but the effect on transfusions was not significant. In multivariate analysis, DA administration (P<0.0001), i.v. iron administration (P=0.0010), high baseline Hb (P<0.0001), and low baseline creatinine (P=0.0458) were independently associated with faster achievement of complete Hb response. In conclusion, DA is highly effective to ensure full erythroid reconstitution after autologous HCT when started on Day 28 post-transplant. I.v. iron sucrose further improves erythroid recovery. Am. J. Hematol. 88:990-996, 2013. 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Copyright 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Transfusion risk in cancer patients with chemotherapy-induced anemia when initiating darbepoetin alfa therapy at a baseline hemoglobin level of <9 g/dL versus 9 to <10 g/dL versus >= 10 g/dL: an exploratory analysis of a phase 3 trial
Medical Oncology. 2012;29((3):):2291-9.
Darbepoetin alfa (DA) is an erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA) approved for treating chemotherapy-induced anemia (CIA). Safety concerns have prompted changes to the ESA-product information, which now recommends initiating ESAs at hemoglobin (Hb) levels < 10 g/dL (US) or <= 10 g/dL (EU). The present exploratory analysis of a DA trial examined how baseline-Hb levels at ESA initiation affect transfusion rates, Hb response, and safety outcomes in CIA patients. Data were retrospectively analyzed from a phase 3 trial of CIA patients randomised to 500 mcg DA every 3 weeks (Q3 W) or to 2.25 mcg/kg DA weekly (QW) for 15 weeks. In the current analysis, data were reanalyzed by baseline-Hb categories of <9 g/dL (n = 126), 9 to <10 g/dL (n = 225), and >= 10 g/dL (n = 354). The Q3 W and QW groups were combined. Transfusion rates were highest in the <9 g/dL baseline-Hb group in all time periods examined. The Kaplan-Meier percentage (95% CI) of patients achieving Hb >= 10 g/dL was 68% (59, 78) and 88% (82, 92) in the <9 g/dL and 9 to <10 g/dL baseline-Hb groups, respectively. With lower baseline-Hb, incidence of a >= 1 g/dL-Hb rise in 14 days progressively decreased. Incidence of venous thromboembolic events was similar in all baseline-Hb groups and similar between patients with or without a >= 1 g/dL-Hb rise in 14 days. Overall, transfusion risk increased and Hb response decreased at lower baseline-Hb levels in this exploratory analysis. When following ESA-product information to initiate ESAs at Hb <= 10 g/dL, the greatest benefit may be achieved when initiating close to 10 g/dL. Prospective studies are needed to further examine this hypothesis.