Objective. To compare the need for blood transfusions between two groups of patients treated with cisplatin-containing chemotherapy. One of these groups received epoetin alpha therapy. Design. Prospective with an historical control group. Methods. From April 1998 to December 1999, 44 patients who were being treated with cisplatin and gemcitabine were also administered epoetin alpha (10,000 U subcutaneously, thrice weekly) from the onset of anaemia. The need for red blood cell transfusions in this group was compared to a historical control group of 46 patients treated with the same combination chemotherapy regimen from November 1995 to July 1997. Results. In the historical control group, each patient received an average of 1.6 red blood cell transfusions as compared to 0.7 in the epoetin alpha group (a 58% reduction). The average number of units of red blood cells transfused per patient was 3.6 for the control group and 1.8 for the epoetin alpha group (a 50% reduction). In the epoetin alpha group, none of the patients received more than 2 transfusions whereas in the control group, 10 patients (22%) received 3 or more transfusions. In two patients, epoetin therapy had to be stopped due to the occurence of hypertension. Conclusion. Epoetin alpha reduced the need for red blood cell transfusions during cisplatin-containing chemotherapy. Its toxic effect was minimal.
|Translated title of the contribution||Decrease in the need for blood transfusions in cancer patients as a result of the use of epoetin alpha during cisplatin-containing chemotherapy|
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde|
|State||Published - May 5 2001|
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