AbstractBACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The majority of cancer patients suffer from chronic anemia. While recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) offers many of the advantages of blood transfusions, response rates to this treatment are variable and in some trials a large proportion of patients (30 50%) did not respond. This failure may be due to factors related to the underlying disease, the chemotherapy given or functional iron deficiency. An accurate means of predicting response to rHuEPO would be beneficial to both healthcare providers and patients. EVIDENCE AND INFORMATION SOURCES: Data were identified by searches of the published literature, including PubMed, references from relevant reviews, and abstracts presented at recent international oncology and hematology meetings. Only papers in English published between 1990 and 2002 were included. References were selected according to direct relevance to the topic discussed and availability. STATE OF THE ART: The best algorithms for predicting response appear to be those combining an assessment of the adequacy of endogenous erythropoietin production together with some early indicators of erythropoietic marrow response. Further characterization of the dose-response relationship of erythropoietic agents may allow better understanding of ways in which response may be enhanced. Adequate iron availability could also contribute to better response rates. PERSPECTIVES: Further characterization of the predictors of response for current and upcoming erythropoietic agents may enhance the management of anemia associated with cancer, and provide more convenient, effective, and flexible therapy.
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Vol. 87 No. 11 (2002): November, 2002 : Articles
Ferrata Storti Foundation, Pavia, Italy
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