Management of cancer-associated anemia with erythropoiesis-stimulating agents: ASCO/ASH clinical practice guideline update
Blood advances. 2019;3(8):1197-1210
PURPOSE To update the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)/American Society of Hematology (ASH) recommendations for use of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) in patients with cancer. METHODS PubMed and the Cochrane Library were searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and meta-analyses of RCTs in patients with cancer published from January 31, 2010, through May 14, 2018. For biosimilar ESAs, the literature search was expanded to include meta-analyses and RCTs in patients with cancer or chronic kidney disease and cohort studies in patients with cancer due to limited RCT evidence in the cancer setting. ASCO and ASH convened an Expert Panel to review the evidence and revise previous recommendations as needed. RESULTS The primary literature review included 15 meta-analyses of RCTs and two RCTs. A growing body of evidence suggests that adding iron to treatment with an ESA may improve hematopoietic response and reduce the likelihood of RBC transfusion. The biosimilar literature review suggested that biosimilars of epoetin alfa have similar efficacy and safety to reference products, although evidence in cancer remains limited. RECOMMENDATIONS ESAs (including biosimilars) may be offered to patients with chemotherapy-associated anemia whose cancer treatment is not curative in intent and whose hemoglobin has declined to < 10 g/dL. RBC transfusion is also an option. With the exception of selected patients with myelodysplastic syndromes, ESAs should not be offered to most patients with nonchemotherapy-associated anemia. During ESA treatment, hemoglobin may be increased to the lowest concentration needed to avoid transfusions. Iron replacement may be used to improve hemoglobin response and reduce RBC transfusions for patients receiving ESA with or without iron deficiency. Additional information is available at www.asco.org/supportive-care-guidelines and www.hematology.org/guidelines.
Patients with cancer or chronic kidney disease (17 studies).
Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) including biosimilars.
Addition of iron to an ESA, placebo or best standard therapy.
A growing body of evidence suggested that adding iron to treatment with an ESA may improve hematopoietic response and reduce the likelihood of red blood cell transfusion. The biosimilar literature review suggested that biosimilars of epoetin alfa have similar efficacy and safety to reference products, although evidence in cancer remained limited.
The role of iron in the management of chemotherapy-induced anemia in cancer patients receiving erythropoiesis-stimulating agents
The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2016;((2)):CD009624.
BACKGROUND Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) are commonly used to treat chemotherapy-induced anemia (CIA). However, about half of patients do not benefit. OBJECTIVES To evaluate the benefits and harms related to the use of iron as a supplement to ESA and iron alone compared with ESA alone in the management of CIA. SEARCH METHODS We searched for relevant trials from the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (issue 1 January 2016), MEDLINE (1950 to February 2016), and www.clinicaltrials.gov without using any language limits. SELECTION CRITERIA All randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing 'iron plus ESA' or 'iron alone' versus 'ESA alone' in people with CIA were eligible for inclusion. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS We used standard methodological procedures expected by Cochrane. MAIN RESULTS We included eight RCTs (12 comparisons) comparing ESA plus iron versus ESA alone enrolling 2087 participants. We did not find any trial comparing iron alone versus ESAs alone in people with CIA. None of the included RCTs reported overall survival. There was a beneficial effect of iron supplementation to ESAs compared with ESAs alone on hematopoietic response (risk ratio (RR) 1.17, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.09 to 1.26; P < 0.0001; 1712 participants; 11 comparisons; high-quality evidence). Assuming a baseline risk of 35% to 80% for hematopoietic response without iron supplementation, between seven and 16 patients should be treated to achieve hematopoietic response in one patient. In subgroup analyses, RCTs that used intravenous (IV) iron favored ESAs and iron (RR 1.20 (95% CI 1.10 to 1.31); P < 0.00001; 1321 participants; eight comparisons), whereas we found no evidence for a difference in hematopoietic response in RCTs using oral iron (RR 1.04 (95% CI 0.87 to 1.24); P = 0.68; 391 participants; three comparisons). There was no evidence for a difference between the subgroups of IV and oral iron (P = 0.16). There was no evidence for a difference between the subgroups of types of iron (P = 0.31) and types of ESAs (P = 0.16) for hematopoietic response.The iron supplementation to ESAs might be beneficial as fewer participants treated with iron supplementation required red blood cell (RBC) transfusions compared to the number of participants treated with ESAs alone (RR 0.74 (95% CI 0.60 to 0.92); P = 0.007; 1719 participants; 11 comparisons; moderate-quality evidence). Assuming a baseline risk of 7% to 40% for RBC transfusion without iron supplementation, between 10 and 57 patients should be treated to avoid RBC transfusion in one patient.We found no evidence for a difference in the median time to hematopoietic response with addition of iron to ESAs (hazard ratio (HR) 0.93 (95% CI 0.67 to 1.28); P = 0.65; 1042 participants; seven comparisons; low-quality evidence). In subgroup analyses, RCTs in which dextran (HR 0.95 (95% CI 0.36 to 2.52); P = 0.92; 340 participants; three comparisons), sucrose iron (HR 1.15 (95% CI 0.60 to 2.21); P = 0.67; 102 participants; one comparison) and sulfate iron (HR 1.24 (95% CI 0.99 to 1.56); P = 0.06; 55 participants; one comparison) were used showed no evidence for difference between iron supplementation versus ESAs alone compared with RCTs in which gluconate (HR 0.78 (95% CI 0.65 to 0.94); P = 0.01; 464 participants; two comparisons) was used for median time to hematopoietic response (P = 0.02). There was no evidence for a difference between the subgroups of route of iron administration (P = 0.13) and types of ESAs (P = 0.46) for median time to hematopoietic response.Our results indicated that there could be improvement in the hemoglobin (Hb) levels with addition of iron to ESAs (mean difference (MD) 0.48 (95% CI 0.10 to 0.86); P = 0.01; 827 participants; seven comparisons; low-quality evidence). In RCTs in which IV iron was used there was evidence for a difference (MD 0.84 (95% CI 0.21 to 1.46); P = 0.009; 436 participants; four comparisons) compared with oral iron (MD 0.07 (95% CI -0.19 to 0.34); P = 0.59; 391 participants; three comparisons) for mean change i
Platelet transfusion: a systematic review of the clinical evidence
BACKGROUND Platelet (PLT) transfusion is indicated either prophylactically or therapeutically to reduce the risk of bleeding or to control active bleeding. Significant uncertainty exists regarding the appropriate use of PLT transfusion and the optimal threshold for transfusion in various settings. We formulated 12 key questions to assess the role of PLT transfusion. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS We performed a systematic review (SR) of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and observational studies. A comprehensive search of PubMed, Web of Science, and Cochrane registry of controlled trials was performed. Methodologic quality of included studies was assessed and a meta-analysis was performed if more than two studies with similar designs were identified for a specific question. RESULTS Seventeen RCTs and 55 observational studies were included in the final SR. Results from RCTs showed a beneficial effect of prophylactic compared with therapeutic transfusion for the prevention of significant bleeding in patients with hematologic disorders undergoing chemotherapy or stem cell transplantation. We found no difference in significant bleeding events related to the PLT count threshold for transfusion or the dose of PLTs transfused. Overall methodologic quality of RCTs was moderate. Results from observational studies showed no evidence that PLT transfusion prevented significant bleeding in patients undergoing central venous catheter insertions, lumbar puncture, or other surgical procedures. The methodologic quality of observational studies was very low. CONCLUSION We provide a comprehensive assessment of evidence on the use of PLT transfusions in a variety of clinical settings. Our report summarizes current knowledge and identifies gaps to be addressed in future research.Copyright © 2014 AABB.
Red blood cell transfusion: a clinical practice guideline from the AABB
Annals of Internal Medicine. 2012;157((1):):49-58.
Description: Although approximately 85 million units of red blood cells (RBCs) are transfused annually worldwide, transfusion practices vary widely. The AABB (formerly, the American Association of Blood Banks) developed this guideline to provide clinical recommendations about hemoglobin concentration thresholds and other clinical variables that trigger RBC transfusions in hemodynamically stable adults and children. Methods: These guidelines are based on a systematic review of randomized clinical trials evaluating transfusion thresholds. We performed a literature search from 1950 to February 2011 with no language restrictions. We examined the proportion of patients who received any RBC transfusion and the number of RBC units transfused to describe the effect of restrictive transfusion strategies on RBC use. To determine the clinical consequences of restrictive transfusion strategies, we examined overall mortality, nonfatal myocardial infarction, cardiac events, pulmonary edema, stroke, thromboembolism, renal failure, infection, hemorrhage, mental confusion, functional recovery, and length of hospital stay. Recommendation 1: The AABB recommends adhering to a restrictive transfusion strategy (7 to 8 g/dL) in hospitalized, stable patients (Grade: strong recommendation; high-quality evidence). Recommendation 2: The AABB suggests adhering to a restrictive strategy in hospitalized patients with preexisting cardiovascular disease and considering transfusion for patients with symptoms or a hemoglobin level of 8 g/dL or less (Grade: weak recommendation; moderate-quality evidence). Recommendation 3: The AABB cannot recommend for or against a liberal or restrictive transfusion threshold for hospitalized, hemodynamically stable patients with the acute coronary syndrome (Grade: uncertain recommendation; very low-quality evidence). Recommendation 4: The AABB suggests that transfusion decisions be influenced by symptoms as well as hemoglobin concentration (Grade: weak recommendation; low-quality evidence). 2012 American College of Physicians.
Evidence-based practice guidelines for plasma transfusion
BACKGROUND There is little systematically derived evidence-based guidance to inform plasma transfusion decisions. To address this issue, the AABB commissioned the development of clinical practice guidelines to help direct appropriate transfusion of plasma. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS A systematic review (SR) and meta-analysis of randomized and observational studies was performed to quantify known benefits and harms of plasma transfusion in common clinical scenarios (see accompanying article). A multidisciplinary guidelines panel then used the SR and the GRADE methodology to develop evidence-based plasma transfusion guidelines as well as identify areas for future investigation. RESULTS Based on evidence ranging primarily from moderate to very low in quality, the panel developed the following guidelines: 1) The panel suggested that plasma be transfused to patients requiring massive transfusion. However, 2) the panel could not recommend for or against transfusion of plasma at a plasma : red blood cell ratio of 1:3 or more during massive transfusion, 3) nor could the panel recommend for or against transfusion of plasma to patients undergoing surgery in the absence of massive transfusion. 4) The panel suggested that plasma be transfused in patients with warfarin therapy-related intracranial hemorrhage, 5) but could not recommend for or against transfusion of plasma to reverse warfarin anticoagulation in patients without intracranial hemorrhage. 6) The panel suggested against plasma transfusion for other selected groups of patients. CONCLUSION We have systematically developed evidence-based guidance to inform plasma transfusion decisions in common clinical scenarios. Data from additional randomized studies will be required to establish more comprehensive and definitive guidelines for plasma transfusion.
Erythropoietin or darbepoetin for patients with cancer - meta-analysis based on individual patient data
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2009;((3):):CD007303.
Recombinant human erythropoiesis-stimulating agents and mortality in patients with cancer: a meta-analysis of randomised trials
Venous thromboembolism and mortality associated with recombinant erythropoietin and darbepoetin administration for the treatment of cancer-associated anemia
Plasmapheresis in the treatment of renal failure associated with multiple myeloma
Blood. 2006;108((11):): Abstract No. 3585
Recombinant human erythropoietins and cancer patients: updated meta-analysis of 57 studies including 9353 patients
Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 2006;98((10):):708-14.
This is an updated systematic review of 57 trials and 9353 cancer patients from articles, abstracts, and reports published between January 1, 1985, and April 30, 2005, on the effects of epoetin alfa and beta (i.e., epoetin) and darbepoetin alfa (i.e., darbepoetin). We included randomized controlled trials comparing epoetin or darbepoetin plus red blood cell transfusion with red blood cell transfusion alone for prophylaxis or treatment of anemia in cancer patients with or without concurrent antineoplastic therapy. The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and conference proceedings were searched. Effect estimates and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated with fixed-effects models. Treatment with epoetin or darbepoetin statistically significantly reduced the risk for red blood cell transfusions (relative risk (RR) = 0.64, 95% CI = 0.60 to 0.68; 42 trials and 6510 patients) and improved hematologic response (RR = 3.43, 95% CI = 3.07 to 3.84; 22 trials and 4307 patients). Treatment with epoetin or darbepoetin increased the risk of thrombo-embolic events (RR = 1.67, 95% CI = 1.35 to 2.06; 35 trials and 6769 patients) . Uncertainties remain as to whether and how epoetin or darbepoetin affects overall survival (hazard ratio = 1.08, 95% CI = 0.99 to 1.18; 42 trials and 8167 patients). Caution is advised when using epoetin or darbepoetin in combination with thrombogenic chemotherapeutic agents or for cancer patients who are at high risk for thrombo-embolic events.