, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 124-133
Date: 07 Feb 2012

Management of Anemia in Advanced Breast and Lung Cancer Patients in Daily Practice: Results of a French Survey

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The purpose of this French survey was to evaluate the adherence to the guidelines (European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer [EORTC]; American Society of Clinical Oncology [ASCO]; French Standards, Options, and Recommendations [SOR]; European Society of Medical Oncology [ESMO]; Food and Drug Administration [FDA]; and National Comprehensive Cancer Network [NCCN]) for the use of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) in the management of chemotherapy-induced anemia for patients with advanced breast and lung cancers.


Two-hundred patients were recruited for each malignancy. The collected items were characteristics of ESA initiation, treatment, adjustment, and discontinuation. Metastatic breast cancer and stage IIIb/IV lung cancer patients who had received chemotherapy were eligible. The endpoint was to compare French daily practices with national and international guidelines.


From November 2010 to December 2010, 185 breast cancer and 227 lung cancer files were collected. The main reason of ESA initiation was the correction of anemia (49% and 44%, respectively). The median baseline value of hemoglobin was 9.5 g/dL, and the median target value was 12 g/dL. The mean duration of treatment was 12 and 14 weeks, respectively. The mean gain of hemoglobin was 2.3 g/dL and 1.9 g/dL, respectively. In the breast cancer population, two patients (1%) developed a thromboembolic event, which is lower than what has been described in the literature. An iron supplement was prescribed in 55% of patients with breast cancer and 49% of those with lung cancer, with about one-third administered intravenous iron. The interruption of ESA and chemotherapy was synchronous in about 20% of cases, and was earlier in lung cancer patients than in breast cancer patients.


The quality and the rigor of the sampling represent one of the key points of this survey. The French and international guidelines for the use of ESA were well respected by the physicians. Overall, the management of chemotherapy-induced anemia was improved compared with what was described in the historical surveys (European Cancer Anaemia Survey [ECAS], French Anaemia Cancer Treatment [F-ACT]).

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