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Effects of epoetin-alpha on quality of life of cancer patients with solid tumors receiving chemotherapy.

Author(s): Christodoulou C, Dafni U, Aravantinos G, Koutras A, Samantas E, Karina M, Janinis J, Papakostas P, Skarlos D, Kalofonos HP, Fountzilas G

Affiliation(s): Second Department of Medical Oncology, Metropolitan Hospital, El. Venizelou 2, 185 47 Athens, Greece. hecogiat@otenet.gr

Publication date & source: 2009-02, Anticancer Res., 29(2):693-702.

Publication type: Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial

BACKGROUND: Erythropoietin corrects and prevents anemia and decreases the need for red blood cell (RBC) transfusions; its impact on quality of life (QOL) of cancer patients receiving chemotherapy is not clear. PATIENTS AND METHODS: 399 patients with solid tumors and Hb level of < or = 12 g/dl receiving chemotherapy were randomized to receive or not 10,000 IU epoetin-alpha thrice weekly. QOL was measured by the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Anemia (FACT-An) scale and various subscales at baseline, at two months and at the end of the study. RESULTS: Changes in the average QOL scores were similar in the two groups. The improvement in Hb levels was significantly higher for the epoetin-alpha group, with a decrease in transfusion requirements compared to the control group. CONCLUSION: Epoetin-alpha does not improve QOL of patients with solid tumors receiving chemotherapy as assessed using FACT-An scale and various subscales, despite improving Hb levels and reducing transfusion requirements.

Page last updated: 2009-10-20

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