A new induction schedule of epoetin alfa 40.000 IU in anemic patients with advanced lung cancer.

Lung Cancer(2004)

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Background: Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treatment with new drugs in combination with platinum salts induce anemia G1/2 and G3/4 WHO in about 35 and 10–20% of patients, respectively, with a chemotherapy (CT) dose intensity decrease in 20% of cases. Epoetin alfa, administered at standard dosages has been shown to significantly increase hemoglobin (Hb) levels, decrease transfusion requirements, and improve quality-of-life parameters in patients undergoing chemotherapy. Objective: This open-label, non-randomized study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of an induction dose of epoetin alfa 40.000IU in lung cancer patients with moderate or severe anemia who were receiving CT. Patients and methods: Twenty-four patients (8 SCLC and 16 NSCLC) were enrolled in the study to receive single subcutaneous (s.c.) injections of epoetin alfa 40.000IU on days 1, 4, 7, 10, and 13, followed by standard treatment (10.000IU t.i.w.) for the further 2 weeks. Nine patients had been previously treated with epoetin alfa 10.000IU t.i.w. Twenty-two patients were receiving first-line CT and two patients were receiving docetaxel as second-line CT. Results: After 15 days of treatment, in 21 evaluable patients, Hb was 10.5±1.3g/dL (mean±S.D.), with a mean increase from baseline of 2.0g/dL (95%CI: 1.3–2.7). Hb increase was ≥2g/dL in 11 patients, 1–1.9g/dL in 5 patients, and <1g/dL in 5 patients. After 30 days of treatment, Hb was 11.5±0.8g/dL (mean±S.D.), with a mean increase from baseline of 2.9g/dL (95%CI: 2.4–3.4) in 20 evaluable patients. No adverse events possibly related to epoetin alfa treatment were observed. Conclusion: An induction therapy with epoetin alfa 40.000IU for 2 weeks followed by standard treatment allows an Hb increase of 2.9g/dL even in advanced lung cancer patients with a moderate/severe anemia, without RBC transfusion requirements. A randomized study of the proposed induction dose of epoetin alfa 40.000IU is actually ongoing.
Lung cancer,Platinum salts,New regimens,Anemia,Epoetin alfa 40.000IU,RBC transfusion,Dose intensity
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