The background and methodology of the Anaemia Cancer Treatment (A.C.T.) study: a global retrospective study of practice patterns and outcomes in the management of anaemia in cancer patients and their congruence with evidence-based guidelines
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- Aapro, M., Abraham, I., Bokemeyer, C. et al. Support Care Cancer (2008) 16: 193. doi:10.1007/s00520-007-0311-2
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The benefit of supportive care with erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) for patients with cancer-related anaemia is well known. However, the European Cancer Anaemia Survey (ECAS, data from 2001) showed that about 60% of cancer patients with anaemia do not receive any treatment. Since ECAS, evidence-based guidelines have provided recommendations for ESA use, but it is not known to what extent current treatment patterns follow these guidelines. To address this issue, the Anaemia Cancer Treatment (A.C.T.) study was initiated. The background to the development of the A.C.T. study and study methodology are described.
Materials and methods
The A.C.T. study is a global, retrospective, pharmacoepidemiologic study of at least 2,560 medical records of anaemic patients with cancer who were previously treated with an ESA from a minimum of 186 centres. Records from patients aged greater than or equal to 18 years with a diagnosis of solid tumour or myeloma or lymphoma and who were started on ESAs 3–12 months before inclusion and followed for 8–10 weeks will be eligible. Factors associated with ESA non-responsiveness will also be evaluated.
Completion of the European phase of the study is anticipated in late 2007 with the rest of the world closing in late 2007 or early 2008. Publication of findings is anticipated in 2008.
By examining the extent to which anaemia management in clinical practice is congruent with best practice guidelines, the A.C.T. study will provide a further foundation for the development of evidence-based supportive cancer care.