Anemia in Cancer Patients

Anemia in Cancer Patients is a topic covered in the Washington Manual of Medical Therapeutics.

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Although ESA therapy has been shown to reduce transfusion requirements in chemotherapy-related anemia, their use remains controversial because of evidence of increased mortality risk in cancer patients.1 In addition, ESAs are ineffective in patients who are not receiving chemotherapy and have not been shown to increase quality of life.2 They confer an elevated risk of thrombosis regardless of baseline Hgb level. Current guidelines recommend ESA therapy should only be considered in transfusion-dependent cancer patients with Hgb level <10 g/dL who are receiving myelosuppressive chemotherapy.

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Although ESA therapy has been shown to reduce transfusion requirements in chemotherapy-related anemia, their use remains controversial because of evidence of increased mortality risk in cancer patients.1 In addition, ESAs are ineffective in patients who are not receiving chemotherapy and have not been shown to increase quality of life.2 They confer an elevated risk of thrombosis regardless of baseline Hgb level. Current guidelines recommend ESA therapy should only be considered in transfusion-dependent cancer patients with Hgb level <10 g/dL who are receiving myelosuppressive chemotherapy.

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