Medline: 9060566

The abstract Journal of Clinical Oncology 15(3): 1218-1234, 1997. is available online.

The fulltext Journal of Clinical Oncology 15(3): 1218-1234, 1997. may be available online for subscribers.

Impact of therapy with epoetin alfa on clinical outcomes in patients with nonmyeloid malignancies during cancer chemotherapy in community oncology practice. Procrit Study Group.

Glaspy J, Bukowski R, Steinberg D, et al.


To study the impact of Procrit (epoetin alfa; Amgen Inc, Thousand Oaks, CA) on quality of life, transfusion requirements, and hemoglobin in anemic cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.

Patients and Methods:
More than 500 community-based oncologists enrolled 2,342 patients with malignancies undergoing cytotoxic chemotherapy in an open-label study. Patients were treated with epoetin alfa 150 U/kg three times weekly, which could be doubled if the therapuetic response was judged inadequate. Total treatment was up to 4 months.

Of the 2,342 patients enrolled, data were available for 2,030 patients. Of the 2,030, 1,047 patients completed all 4 months of epoetin alfa therapy. Epoetin alfa was associated with significant increases in mean self-rated scores for energy level, activity level, and overall quality of life; these improvements correlated with the magnitude of the hemoglobin increase and were independent of tumor response. In addition, epoetin alfa was associated with a significant increase in mean hemoglobin and with a significant decrease in the proportion of patients requiring transfusions (baseline to final value, P < .001). Epoetin alfa was well tolerated.

Epoetin alfa is effective in improving the functional status and quality of life in anemic cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, as well as increasing hemoglobin level and decreasing transfusion requirements. Improvement in functional status can be attributed to an increase in hemoglobin level, demonstrating that quality of life in this group of patients can be improved by aggressively treating anemia. Further studies will be required to define the optimal doses and schedules for epoetin alfa.

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Dr. G. Quade