Epoetin beta therapy in patients with solid tumours

Paolo Pronzato, Jacek Jassem, Jose Mayordomo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Anaemia is a common occurrence in patients with cancer, resulting in symptoms such as fatigue that have a profound impact on quality of life. Anaemia is also associated with poor treatment outcome and overall survival. Epoetin beta, a recombinant human erythropoietin that has the same structure and function as the endogenous hormone, is an effective and safe treatment of cancer-related anaemia. Various studies in patients with solid tumours have shown that this agent effectively increases haemoglobin levels and reduces the need for emergency blood transfusions regardless of the type of concomitantly administered chemotherapy. Epoetin beta also improves the quality of life of anaemic patients with cancer, decreasing fatigue and improving the ability to perform usual daily activities. In addition, epoetin beta prevents severe anaemia and reduces transfusion requirements in patients with a high-risk of developing anaemia during chemotherapy, such as those receiving platinum-based regimens. A meta-analysis of epoetin beta trials showed that epoetin beta has no negative impact on survival or thrombosis-related survival and may reduce the risk of tumour progression in patients with solid or lymphoid malignancies. Another study has shown epoetin beta to be equally effective when administered once weekly or three times weekly. Therefore, epoetin beta offers an effective, safe and convenient therapy for the management of anaemia in patients with cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-52
Number of pages7
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006


  • Anaemia
  • Cancer
  • Epoetin beta
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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