Association of active immunotherapy with outcomes in cancer patients with COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis
BACKGROUND During the COVID-19 pandemic, there are growing concerns about the safety of administering immunotherapy in cancer patients with COVID-19. However, current clinical guidelines provided no clear recommendation. METHODS Studies were searched and retrieved from electronic databases. The meta-analysis was performed by employing the generic inverse-variance method. A random-effects model was used to calculate the unadjusted odds ratios (ORs) and adjusted ORs with the corresponding 95% CIs. RESULTS This meta-analysis included 20 articles with 6,042 cancer patients diagnosed with COVID-19. According to the univariate analysis, the acceptance of immunotherapy within 30 days before COVID-19 diagnosis did not increase the mortality of cancer patients (OR: 0.92; 95% CI: 0.68-1.25; P=0.61). Moreover, after adjusting for confounders, the adjusted OR for mortality was 0.51, with borderline significance (95% CI: 0.25-1.01; P=0.053). Similarly, the univariate analysis showed that the acceptance of immunotherapy within 30 days before COVID-19 diagnosis did not increase the risk of severe/critical disease in cancer patients (OR: 1.07; 95% CI: 0.78-1.47; P=0.66). No significant between-study heterogeneity was found in these analyses. CONCLUSIONS Accepting immunotherapy within 30 days before the diagnosis of COVID-19 was not significantly associated with a higher risk of mortality or severe/critical disease of infected cancer patients. Further prospectively designed studies with large sample sizes are required to evaluate the present results.
Darbepoetin alfa injection versus epoetin alfa injection for treating anemia of Chinese hemodialysis patients with chronic kidney failure: A randomized, open-label, parallel-group, non-inferiority Phase III trail
Chronic diseases and translational medicine. 2022;8(1):59-70
BACKGROUND Erythropoietin is a glycoprotein that mainly regulates erythropoiesis. In patients with chronic renal failure with anemia, darbepoetin alfa can stimulate erythropoiesis, correct anemia, and maintain hemoglobin levels. This study was designed to demonstrate the efficacy and safety of darbepoetin alfa injections as being not inferior to epoetin alfa injections (Recombinant Human Erythropoietin injection, rHuEPO) when maintaining hemoglobin (Hb) levels within the target range (10.0-12.0 g/dL) for the treatment of renal anemia. METHODS Ninety-five patients were enrolled in this study from April 15, 2013 to April 10, 2014 at 25 sites. In this study, patients (n = 95) aged 18-70 years were randomized into a once per week intravenous darbepoetin alfa group (n = 56) and a twice or three times per week intravenous epoetin alfa group (n = 39) for 28 weeks, who had anemia with hemoglobin levels between 6 g/dL and 10 g/dL due to chronic kidney disease (CKD) and were undergoing hemodialysis or hemofiltration with ESA-naive (erythropoiesis stimulating agent-naive). The primary efficacy profile was the mean Hb level (the non-inferiority margin was -1.0 g/dL, week 21-28); the secondary efficacy profiles were the Hb increase rate (week 0-4), the target Hb achievement cumulative rate and time, the change trends of the Hb levels, and the target Hb maintenance ratio. Adverse events (AEs) were observed and compared, and the efficacy and safety were analyzed between the two treatment groups. Additionally, the frequencies of dose adjustments between the darbepoetin alfa and epoetin alfa groups were compared during the treatment period. SAS® software version 9.2 was used to perform all statistical analyses. Descriptive statistics were used for all efficacy, safety, and demographic variable analyses, including for the primary efficacy indicators. RESULTS The mean Hb level was 11.3 g/dL in the darbepoetin alfa group and 10.7 g/dL in the epoetin alfa group, respectively; the difference of the lower limits of the 95% confidence intervals (CI) between the two groups was 0.1 g/dL (>-1.0 g/dL), and non-inferiority was proven; the Hb levels started to increase in the first four weeks at a similar increase rate; no obvious differences were observed between the groups in the target Hb achievement cumulative rates, and the Hb levels as well as the target Hb level maintenance rate changed over time. The incidence of AEs was 62.5% in the darbepoetin alfa group and 76.9% in the epoetin alfa group. All the adverse events observed in the study were those commonly associated with hemodialysis. CONCLUSION Darbepoetin alfa intravenously once per week can effectively increase Hb levels and maintain the target Hb levels well, which makes it not inferior to epoetin alfa intravenously twice or three times per week. Darbepoetin alfa shows an efficacy and safety comparable to epoetin alfa for the treatment of renal anemia.
Comparison of the proximal and distal approaches for axillary vein catheterization under ultrasound guidance (PANDA) in cardiac surgery patients susceptible to bleeding: a randomized controlled trial
Ann Intensive Care. 2020;10(1):90
BACKGROUND The present study aimed at comparing the success rate and safety of proximal versus distal approach for ultrasound (US)-guided axillary vein catheterization (AVC) in cardiac surgery patients susceptible to bleeding. METHODS In this single-center randomized controlled trial, cardiac surgery patients susceptible to bleeding and requiring AVC were randomized to either the proximal or distal approach group for US-guided AVC. Patients susceptible to bleeding were defined as those who received oral antiplatelet drugs or anticoagulants for at least 3 days. Success rate, catheterization time, number of attempts, and mechanical complications within 24 h were recorded for each procedure. RESULTS A total of 198 patients underwent randomization: 99 patients each to the proximal and distal groups. The proximal group had the higher first puncture success rate (75.8% vs. 51.5%, p < 0.001) and site success rate (93.9% vs. 83.8%, p = 0.04) than the distal group. However, the overall success rates between the two groups were similar (99.0% vs. 99.0%; p = 1.00). Moreover, the proximal group had fewer average number of attempts (p < 0.01), less access time (p < 0.001), and less successful cannulation time (p < 0.001). There was no significant difference in complications between the two groups, such as major bleeding, minor bleeding, arterial puncture, pneumothorax, nerve injuries, and catheter misplacements. CONCLUSIONS For cardiac surgery patients susceptible to bleeding, both proximal and distal approaches for US-guided AVC can be considered as feasible and safe methods of central venous cannulation. In terms of the first puncture success rate and cannulation time, the proximal approach is superior to the distal approach. Trial registration Clinicaltrials.gov, NCT03395691. Registered January 10, 2018, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03395691?cond=NCT03395691&draw=1&rank=1 .