, Volume 12, Issue 12, pp 843-848
Date: 08 Feb 2012

Efficacy of epoetin-beta 30,000 IU/week in correcting anaemia in patients with gastrointestinal tumours subjected to concomitant chemoradiotherapy

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Abstract

Objective

The aim of the project was to assess the effectiveness and safety of weekly epoetin-beta (EB) in patients with gastrointestinal cancer (GIC) subjected to concomitant chemoradiotherapy (CCTRT).

Methods

In this clinical prospective and multicentre cohort study EB was administered at a dose of 30,000 IU/ week, during CCTRT and in the four weeks thereafter, and suspended if haemoglobin (Hb) increased >2 g/dl or Hb >12–13 g/dl. Effectiveness was defined as Hb increase ≥1 g/dl vs. baseline. Time to response, treatment toxicity and transfusion requirements were also assessed.

Results

EB was effective in 75.8% of the evaluable population within a median of four weeks from EB initiation, without blood transfusions. Over 80% of all patients remained below the threshold (Hb ≤13 g/dl) and no study drug-related adverse reactions were recorded.

Conclusion

Weekly EB proved to be effective and well tolerated by patients with GIC subjected to CCTRT.