Impact of anemia management with EPO on psychologic distress in cancer patients: Results of a multicenter patient survey

Salvatore Del Prete, Saverio Cinieri, Vito Lorusso, Luigi Maiorino, Carmine Pizza, Agata Pisano, Vincenzo Montesarchio, Luigi Leo, Clementina Savastano, Giuseppe Pistolese, Maddalena Bianco, Roberto Mabilia, Riccardo Tonachella, Antonio Febbraro, Luigi Manzione, Salvatore Palazzo, Gianfranco Filippelli, Bruno Vincenzi, Enrico Barbato, Gregorio CennamoFerdinando Riccardi, Gabriella Misso, Michele Caraglia, Raffaele Addeo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: We investigated the role of erythropoietin (EPO) in reducing anemia and preventing the development of psychological distress in patients treated with chemotherapy. Patients & methods: This prospective observational study enrolled 591 adult patients receiving EPO at a dose of 30,000 IU administered once weekly for chemotherapy-induced anemia (mean baseline hemoglobin [Hb] level was 9.55 g/dl) over a 12-month period. Results: The majority of patients (371 [71%] patients) achieved a Hb increase >2 g/dl after 4 weeks of treatment. Interestingly, the nonresponder group had a statistically significant deterioration of their psychological conditions as indicated by psychological distress score (p = 0.01). However, within the group of responders to EPO, the Psychological Distress Inventory score remained unchanged. In the present study, severe side effects associated with EPO were not recorded. Conclusion: Hb increase, induced by EPO, ameliorates the psychological conditions of cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-78
Number of pages10
JournalFuture Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014


  • chemotherapy-induced anemia
  • EPO
  • erythropoiesis-stimulating agent
  • Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy: Fatigue
  • hemoglobin
  • lymphoma
  • myeloma
  • psychological distress
  • Psychological Distress Inventory
  • solid tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research
  • Medicine(all)


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