Recombinant human erythropoietin for the treatment of anemia in children with solid malignant tumors
León P, Jiménez M, Barona P, Sierrasesúmaga L.
Department of Pediatric Oncology, School of Medicine, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.
Cancer is often associated with chronic anemia which frequently requires blood transfusions. This study was performed to assess the efficacy and safety of r-HuEPO therapy in children with cancer.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
Twenty-five patients under 18 years of age with solid malignant tumors were treated with 150 U/kg/day of r-HuEPO 5 times weekly for 12 weeks. Response was defined as an increase of the baseline hemoglobin level by at least 2 g/dl. r-HuEPO patients were compared to 25 matched historical controls.
Response was achieved in 72% of r-HuEPO patients. Hemoglobin level increased from 9.8 +/- 0.6 g/dl at baseline to 12.4 +/- 1.7 g/dl at the end of treatment in the r-HuEPO group and increased from 9.5 +/- 0.7 g/dl to 9.6 +/- 1.4 g/dl in the control group (P < .001, Student's t-test). Only 16% of patients receiving r-HuEPO required blood transfusions vs 96% of control patients (P < .001, Student's t-test), with mean units of blood transfused per patient being 0.35 in the r-HuEPO group and 3.56 in controls (P < .001, Student's t-test). There was a statistically significance improvement in Karnofsky's index in r-HuEPO patients. No adverse reaction related to r-HuEPO therapy was observed.
r-HuEPO is a safe and effective means of increasing hemoglobin level and reducing blood requirements in children with solid malignant tumors receiving chemotherapy.
CITATION Med Pediatr Oncol. 1998 Feb;30(2):110-6