A new induction schedule of epoetin alfa 40.000 IU in anemic patients with advanced lung cancer

Ottavio Ariganello, Andrea Mancuso, Michele Di Molfetta, Francesco Diana, Patrizia Beccaglia, Enrico Cortesi, Filippo De Marinis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treatment with new drugs in combination with platinum salts induce anemia G1/2 and G3/4 WHO in about 35 and 10-20% of patients, respectively, with a chemotherapy (CT) dose intensity decrease in 20% of cases. Epoetin alfa, administered at standard dosages has been shown to significantly increase hemoglobin (Hb) levels, decrease transfusion requirements, and improve quality-of-life parameters in patients undergoing chemotherapy. Objective: This open-label, non-randomized study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of an induction dose of epoetin alfa 40.000 IU in lung cancer patients with moderate or severe anemia who were receiving CT. Patients and methods: Twenty-four patients (8 SCLC and 16 NSCLC) were enrolled in the study to receive single subcutaneous (s.c.) injections of epoetin alfa 40.000 IU on days 1, 4, 7, 10, and 13, followed by standard treatment (10.000 IU t.i.w.) for the further 2 weeks. Nine patients had been previously treated with epoetin alfa 10.000 IU t.i.w. Twenty-two patients were receiving first-line CT and two patients were receiving docetaxel as second-line CT. Results: After 15 days of treatment, in 21 evaluable patients, Hb was 10.5±1.3 g/dL (mean±S.D.), with a mean increase from baseline of 2.0 g/dL (95%CI: 1.3-2.7). Hb increase was ≥2 g/dL in 11 patients, 1-1.9 g/dL in 5 patients, and

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-124
Number of pages6
JournalLung Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2004


  • Anemia
  • Dose intensity
  • Epoetin alfa 40.000 IU
  • Lung cancer
  • New regimens
  • Platinum salts
  • RBC transfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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