Effect of Erythropoiesis Stimulating Agents on Clinical Outcomes in Breast Cancer Patients: A Systematic Review of Randomised Controlled Trials
Sabir S, Khan YH, Khatoon M, Noreen R, Mallhi TH, Jabeen N
J Coll Physicians Surg Pak. 2020;30(3):292-298
The impact of erythropoiesis stimulating agents (ESAs) on clinical outcomes among breast cancer patients is debatable. Current review is aimed to ascertain the efficacy of ESAs among breast cancer patients. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were electronically searched. Primary outcomes were mortality, blood transfusion requirements and thromboembolic events (TEEs); whereas, secondary outcomes were safety, tumor progression, anemia treatment, hemoglobin levels and quality of life (QOL). Out of 11 RCTs including 6,849 participants, 9 RCTs reported 2,312 deaths with overall mortality of 33.7%. Mortality reported for epoetin alfa (EA), epoetin beta (EB) and darbepoetin alfa (DA) was 41.24%, 73.1% and 8.99% respectively. TEEs reported for EA, EB and DA were 5.88%, 9.28% and 2.85%, respectively. Serious adverse events were 39.04%, 36.29%, 1.53% for EA, EB and DA, respectively. Tumor progression for EA and EB was 37.53% and 95.46%, respectively. No tumor progression was reported with DA. Erythropoietin reported no mortality, TEEs, serious ADRs and tumor progression. About 9% patients required transfusions during ESA therapy. Current evidence suggests that use of ESA reduces transfusion need but increases mortality and risks of TEEs.