Erythropoietin in tumour anaemia. An assessment

Wild C, Jonas S
Record ID 32001000019
Authors' objectives:

This report aims to provide relevant information to health insurers on the appropriate treatment with erythropoietin (EPO) in tumor anemia.

Authors' results and conclusions: - Patients achieving an Hb-increase >2 g/dl are considered as responders. Only 50% to 60% of tumor patients respond to EPO. - Of the responders, 20% to 30% still require transfusions. - The effect of EPO treatment is measured by increased QoL and prevention/ reduction of transfusion needs. There is little evidence on QoL for the responders who still need transfusion. - There is insufficient evidence to show an association between response rates and types of tumors.
Authors' recomendations: The excellent results achieved with the use of Epoetin (recombinant human erythropoietin, EPO) in the chronic anemia of renal insufficiency raised the expectation that it might also be suited to treat chronic anemia in cancer. While EPO is most effective in treating anemia of (some) hematological malignancies, the results in anemia of solid tumors are less conclusive: 40% to 50% of tumor patients do not respond to EPO. The treatment of anemia with EPO is an expensive intervention. This review found that early recognition of responders and nonresponders is the key to appropriate and cost-effective treatment with EPO. Different prediction parameters, combined with transfusion requirements and life expectancy/stability of tumor status, predict the chances of patients benefiting from EPO treatment.
Authors' methods: Systematic review
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 2000
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: Austria
MeSH Terms
  • Anemia
  • Erythropoietin
  • Neoplasms
Organisation Name: Institute of Technology Assessment
Contact Address: Ludwig Boltzmann Institut fur Health Technology Assessment, Garnisongasse 7/rechte Stiege Mezzanin (Top 20) 1090 Vienna, Austria. Tel: +43 (0)1 236 8119 12; Fax: +43 (0)1 236 8119 99
Contact Name:
Contact Email:
Copyright: Institute of Technology Assessment (ITA)
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.