The anaemia of cancer: Death by a thousand cuts

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Cancer has a negative systemic impact on its host in addition to its local or metastatic effects, and no cancer complication is more ubiquitous than anaemia, a condition for which there is now a specific remedy, the recombinant growth factor erythropoietin. This is not a trivial therapeutic consideration, because cancer-associated anaemia has an adverse influence on survival regardless of tumour type. However, the pharmacological correction of anaemia with recombinant erythropoietin could promote tumour growth, whereas the use of tumour-necrosis factor-α (TNFα) and TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand as antitumour agents could exacerbate anaemia, thereby perpetuating tissue hypoxia and tumour progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-555
Number of pages13
JournalNature Reviews Cancer
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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