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.
Thrombosis risk associated with COVID-19 infection. A scoping review
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.
Thrombosis research. 2020;192:152-160
BACKGROUND Infection by the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been reportedly associated with a high risk of thrombotic complications. So far information is scarce and rapidly emerging. METHODS We conducted a scoping review using a single engine search for studies assessing thrombosis and coagulopathy in COVID-19 patients. Additional studies were identified by secondary review and alert services. RESULTS Studies reported the occurrence of venous thromboembolism and stroke in approximately 20% and 3% of patients, respectively. A higher frequency seems to be present in severely ill patients, in particular those admitted to intensive care units. The thrombotic risk is elevated despite the use of anticoagulant prophylaxis but optimal doses of anticoagulation are not yet defined. Although an increase of biomarkers such as D-dimer has been consistently reported in severely ill COVID-19, the optimal cut-off level and prognostic value are not known. DISCUSSION A number of pressing issues were identified by this review, including defining the true incidence of VTE in COVID patients, developing algorithms to identify those susceptible to develop thrombotic complications and severe disease, determining the role of biomarkers and/or scoring systems to stratify patients' risk, designing adequate and feasible diagnostic protocols for PE, establishing the optimal thromboprophylaxis strategy, and developing uniform diagnostic and reporting criteria.
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.
Randomized double-blind safety comparison of intravenous iron dextran versus iron sucrose in an adult non-hemodialysis outpatient population: A feasibility study
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.
Bmc Hematology. 2016;16:7.
BACKGROUND Intravenous iron therapy is a treatment option for iron deficient patients who are intolerant to oral iron or where oral iron is ineffective, but with possible adverse effects. Currently, prospective studies comparing different intravenous iron formulations are needed to determine safety and efficacy of these agents. METHODS We conducted a prospective, double-blind, randomized controlled trial (RCT) to assess the feasibility of a trial comparing the safety of high molecular weight intravenous iron dextran, Infufer(R), with intravenous iron sucrose, Venofer(R), in non-hemodialysis adult outpatients. Primary outcome was the occurrence of immediate severe drug reactions. RESULTS We enrolled 143 patients in a one-year period. Overall, 45/143 (31.5 %) patients (20 iron dextran, 25 iron sucrose) developed 48 infusion reactions (14 immediate, 28 delayed, and 3 both). The risk of an immediate reaction was similar in both groups, 9/73 (12.3 %) iron dextran versus 8/70 (11.4 %) iron sucrose, RR = 0.93 (95 % CI; 0.38 to 2.27). The risk of a delayed reaction was significantly higher in the iron sucrose group 22/70 (31.4 %) versus the iron dextran group 9/73 (12.3 %), RR = 2.55 (95 % CI; 1.26 to 5.15; p = 0.0078). CONCLUSION In this limited feasibility study, no major differences in immediate reactions were seen, but a significantly higher number of delayed reactions were seen in the iron sucrose group. Further, under our assumptions and design a full RCT to evaluate the safety of different intravenous iron preparations is not feasible. Future studies should consider modifying the clinical outcomes, utilize multiple centers, and consider other emerging parenteral iron formulations. (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT005936197 January 3, 2008).