The use of recombinant human erythropoietin to prevent carboplatin- induced anemia
Anemia is a frequent and potentially serious toxicity associated with the use of carboplatin, particularly when this agent is administered in the salvage setting. In an effort to evaluate a possible role for human erythropoietin (rh-E) in preventing or minimizing carboplatin-induced anemia we analyzed the impact of the agent on anemia and transfusion requirements of women with ovarian cancer who were treated on one of two nonrandomized trials employing identical second-line carboplatin-based intraperitoneal regimens, with the only difference in the regimens being the addition of rh-E (Study 1, without rh-E; Study 2, with rh-E). There was a statistically significant difference in the incidence of documented nadir hemoglobin levels of < 9 g/dl (Study 1, 60%; Study 2, 13%; P < 0.005) and < 8 g/dl (Study 1, 33%; Study 3, 6%; P < 0.05). We also observed a threefold reduction in transfusion requirements with the use of rh-E (Study 1, 23%; Study 2, 6%), but this difference was not statistically significant with the limited sample size evaluated. In this nonrandomized comparison of two identical chemotherapy programs we have demonstrated that rh-E significantly reduced the incidence and severity of anemia associated with carboplatin-based chemotherapy. A randomized trial examining the potential impact of rh-E on carboplatin-induced anemia and transfusion requirements is warranted.