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Biosimilar epoetin for the management of chemotherapy-induced anemia in elderly patients

Authors Kurtz JE, Soubeyran P, Michallet M, Luporsi E, Albrand H

Received 21 January 2016

Accepted for publication 12 August 2016

Published 28 October 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 6689—6693


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Min Li

Jean-Emmanuel Kurtz,1 Pierre Soubeyran,2 Mauricette Michallet,3 Elisabeth Luporsi,4 Hélène Albrand5

1Department of Oncology and Hematology, Hôpitaux Universitaires de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, 2Department of Medical Oncology, Institut Bergonié and Université de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, 3Department of Hematology, Lyon-Sud Hospital, Lyon, 4Institut de Cancérologie de Lorraine Alexis Vautrin, Nancy, 5Laboratoire Hospira France, Paris, France

Introduction: Chemotherapy-induced anemia (CIA) is a frequent complication among cancer patients, with elderly patients more likely to suffer severe effects. Biosimilar erythropoiesis-stimulating agents lower costs of supportive cancer treatment, and thus are particularly relevant in the elderly cancer population, which is growing rapidly worldwide. The goal of this subanalysis was to compare the tolerability and effectiveness of an epoetin biosimilar for treating CIA in patients <70 years old vs patients ≥70 years old.
Materials and methods: The ORHEO observational trial enrolled patients with CIA (hemoglobin [Hb] <11 g/dL) in association with chemotherapy for solid tumors, lymphoma, or myeloma. Patients received an epoetin biosimilar and were evaluated at 3 and 6 months for response, defined as achieving target Hb without blood transfusions during the 3 weeks preceding measurement, Hb ≥10 g/dL, or Hb increase ≥1 g/dL since study enrollment. Secondary end points included changes in Hb level, treatment interruptions, transfusion rates, and adverse events.
Results: Among the 2,310 original patients, 1,301 <70 years old were compared to 1,009 ≥70 years old. Almost all patients (99.9%) received the biosimilar epoetin zeta (Retacrit). Patients in both groups responded well to treatment with biosimilar epoetin, with 79.8% and 84% responding at 3 months and 86.3% and 86.8% at 6 months among younger and elderly cohorts, respectively. Biosimilar epoetin therapy was well tolerated, with adverse events reported in only 17.6% and 16.4% of younger and elderly patients, respectively. A greater number of thromboembolic events and a lesser rate of infections were reported in the elderly, but were still lower than reported in clinical registration trials. No treatment fatalities occurred in either group.
Conclusion: Biosimilar epoetin was an effective and well-tolerated treatment for managing CIA in elderly cancer patients.

Keywords: biosimilar, elderly, epoetin, ESA, chemotherapy-induced anemia, anemia

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