Erythropoietins in patients with cancer: an update
Chemotherapy-associated anemia affects many patients with cancer and can effectively be treated with erythropoiesis stimulating agents (ESAs). ESAs increase Hb levels, reduce the risk for transfusions and improve the quality of life of anemic patients with chemotherapy-associated anaemia. ESAs are generally well tolerated. Important side effects are hypertension and thromboembolic events either of which occurs in less than 10% of the patients. Although several meta-analyses of controlled clinical trials did not demonstrate a statistically significant impact of ESAs on survival, further research on the association between ESAs and clinical outcome including survival is warranted.