BioScience Trends. 2010;4(5):267-272.

Clinical benefits of two different dosing schedules of recombinant human erythropoietin in anemic patients with advanced head and neck cancer.

Gupta S, Singh PK, Bhatt MLB, Pant MC, Sundar S, Verma J, Paul S, Kumar D, Shah A, Gupta R, Negi MPS


A total of 100 patients with stage III or IV head or neck cancer, a performance status of 0-1, and anemia with hemoglobin (Hb) < 10 g/dL at baseline who where to receive chemotherapy concomitantly or sequentially with radiotherapy were randomized to receive either epoetin beta 10,000 IU thrice weekly (TW) (n = 52) and oral iron starting 10-15 days before the start of treatment or epoetin beta 30,000 IU once weekly (OW) (n = 48) and oral iron before the start of treatment. The mean Hb in patients on the thrice weekly (11.96 g/dL) and once weekly (12.50 g/dL) dosing schedules increased significantly (p < 0.01) at the end of the treatment in comparison to respective baseline values of 9.38 g/dL and 9.41 g/dL; levels were 1.2-fold higher, which was significant (p < 0.01), for patients on the once weekly schedule. That said, there was significant improvement (p < 0.01) in mean linear analog scale assessment (LASA) scores for energy level (EL), ability to perform daily activities (AL), and overall quality of life (QOL) for patients on both dosing schedules but these improvements did not differ significantly between schedules (p > 0.05). The 2-year overall survival for patients on both dosing schedules did not differ significantly (p > 0.05). Epoetin beta therapy was found to be equally beneficial and well tolerated for patients on both thrice weekly and once weekly dosing schedules.

KEYWORDS: Head and neck cancer, anemia, epoetin beta, recombinant human erythropoietin, hemoglobin, quality of life (QOL)

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