Darbepoetin alfa administered once every three weeks for the treatment of anemia in elderly patients with non-myeloid tumors receiving chemotherapy


Aims and background. The present study aims to describe the hematological response to darbepoetin alfa (DA) under daily clinical practice conditions in anemic elderly patients with non-myeloid tumors receiving chemotherapy.
Methods and study design. This was a prospective, observational, multicenter study in elderly (≥65 years) patients with non-myeloid cancer receiving DA (500 g every 3 weeks) for chemotherapy-induced anemia (hemoglobin [Hb] level ≤11.0 g/dL).
Results. A total of 102 anemic patients with solid tumors and 51 with hematological malignancies were included in 28 centers in Spain. Mean age (±SD) was 73.4 (±5.8) years, and mean baseline Hb level was 10.0 (±0.8) g/dL. DA was administered for a median of 8 weeks. Of the 115 subjects with a post-baseline Hb value, the percentage of patients who achieved a hematopoietic response (Hb increase ≥2 g/dL or reaching ≥12 g/dL without transfusions in the previous 28 days) was 69.7% (95% CI 56.1% to 83.3%). Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Fatigue subscale scores increased during the study (median change 1.0 [Q1 -5.0, Q3 9.0], P = 0.04). One patient (0.7%) experienced a non-serious adverse reaction (cutaneous rash).
Conclusion. The study results suggest that DA is an effective and well-tolerated therapy for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced anemia in elderly patients.

Tumori 2014; 100(2): 225 - 231




Gaspar Esquerdo, Mercedes Doménech, Pilar López, Carme Pedro, Kenny Villadiego, Manuel Constenla, Pedro Sánchez-Rovira, José A Gasquet, César A Rodríguez, and the AVANT study group

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