June 10, 2009

Benefits and harms of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents for anemia related to cancer: a meta-analysis.

.   .   

This systematic review of 52 RCTs looked at the clinical efficacy and harms related to erythropoeisis-stimulating agents in the treatment of anemia related to cancer or chemotherapy (not renal failure). The study shows that ESAs improve quality of life and decrease blood transfusions, but with increased the risk of death and serious adverse events. The authors recommend that ESAs should not be used routinely as an alternative to blood transfusions in these patients.

Related Articles:

Internal Medicine for Nephrologists
  • Nephrologist

    The recent TREAT study suggests worse outcomes among CKD patients with a history of cancer who received ESA. Along with the existing ESA/oncology literature, we need to be very cautious and likely avoid ESAs in CKD/ESRD patients with a known malignancy.