Risk of venous thromboembolism with the erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) for the treatment of cancer-associated anemia: a meta-analysis of randomized control trials
Chinese Clinical Oncology. 2012;1((2):):19.
BACKGROUND In anemic patients receiving myelosuppressive chemotherapy, erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) raise hemoglobin levels and reduce transfusion requirements, but ESA-related safety concerns exist. To evaluate the overall risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) associated with the use of ESAs, a systematic review and meta-analysis of published randomized controlled trials (RCT) was performed. METHODS The databases of PubMed and Web of Science were searched from January 1966 until December 2012 and abstracts presented at American Society of Clinical Oncology conferences held between January 2000 and December 2012 were searched to identify relevant clinical trials. Summary incidence rates, relative risks (RRs), and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated. RESULTS Data from a total of 11,632 patients with cancer in 50 RCTs were identified and included for meta-analysis. Among those patients receiving ESAs, the summary incidences of all-grade VTE were 7.62%. Patients with cancer who received ESAs had increased VTE risks (482 events among 6,238 patients treated with ESA vs. 269 events among 5,394 control patients; RR=1.75; 95% CI, 1.49-2.05). The highest risk of VET was found in patients with ovarian and cervical cancer for 2.45 (1.12-5.33). CONCLUSIONS The use of ESAs was significantly associated with an increased risk of developing VTE in cancer patients receiving this drug. The risks of VTE may vary with various tumor types.
The use of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents in patients with non-myeloid hematological malignancies: a systematic review
Annals of Hematology. 2008;87((12):):961-73.
The effectiveness of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) for the treatment of anemia in patients with non-myeloid hematological malignancies needs to be assessed as the response to their administration is not uniform and their cost is high. We conducted a systematic review (SR) of the literature to identify reports of the effect of ESAs on survival, quality of life (QOL), transfusion requirements, and anemia. The entries to MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library databases, and abstracts published in the proceedings of the annual meetings of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Society of Hematology were searched. Seventeen reports and five abstracts of randomized trials fulfilled prospective criteria for inclusion. Five trials reported on survival; three failed to detect differences between groups and two demonstrated inferior survival in patients allocated to an ESA. Seven trials and three abstracts reported on QOL with four articles and three abstracts describing improvements in patients allocated to erythropoietin. However, important methodologic limitations were identified in these reports. Seven randomized controlled trials reported a reduction in the proportion of patients transfused. The absolute risk reduction in transfusions ranged from 15% to 24%. This is the only SR that assesses the use of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents specifically in patients with hematological malignancies. We conclude that available data evaluating ESAs in patients with hematologic malignancies demonstrate that these agents reduce transfusion requirements. Limitations of these data preclude conclusions that these agents improve QOL. More data are required to confirm the inferior survival associated with ESAs.
Effectiveness of erythropoietin in the treatment of patients with malignancies: methods and preliminary results of a Cochrane review
Best Practice & Research. Clinical Haematology. 2005;18((3):):449-54.
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.