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Recombinant human epoetin beta in the treatment of chemotherapy-related anemia

Authors MacPherson I, Lindsay C, Reed N

Published 16 March 2009 Volume 2009:5 Pages 261—270


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Iain RJ Macpherson, Colin R Lindsay, Nicholas S Reed

Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, Glasgow, United Kingdom

Abstract: Anemia is a common complication of systemic anti-cancer treatment. In this context epoetin beta, like other erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs), has demonstrable efficacy in raising Hb concentration and reducing the requirement for red cell transfusion. Consequently ESA therapy has gained increasing prominence in the management of chemotherapy-related anemia. However, recent trial data have suggested a higher rate of thromboembolic events, enhanced tumor progression and reduced survival in some patients with cancer who receive ESA therapy. In response, regulatory authorities have mandated increasingly restrictive label changes. In light of these new developments we consider the current role of epoetin beta in the management of chemotherapy-related anemia.

Keywords: anemia, cancer, erythropoietin, epoetin, chemotherapy

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