ABSTRACT: To decrease red blood cell (RBC) transfusion requirements during high-dose therapy (HDT) for hematological malignancies, we conducted a pilot study to assess the effect of recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEpo) given during chemotherapy before HDT and autologous peripheral stem-cell transplantation (APSCT). The transfusion histories of 15 HDT and APSCT for hematological disease performed in 11 consecutive patients who received rHuEpo (10 000 U subcutaneously three times/week) were compared to those of 22 HDT and ASCT performed in 17 consecutive historical controls matched for hematological parameters. rHuEpo increased the hemoglobin (Hb) level from 10.3+/-2.3 g/dl at diagnosis to 12.9+/-2.2 g/dl at the time of HDT in 11 patients; no major adverse effects occurred. Compared to historical controls (95%, 21/22), RBC transfusion requirements were significantly lower for rHuEpo recipients (26%, 4/15) (P=0.00001) and rHuEpo responders (15%, 2/13) (P=0.000002). After HDT and APSCT, fewer RBC transfusions were needed: 3.3, 1.2 and 0.3 RBC units for controls, rHuEpo recipients and rHuEpo responders, respectively (P=0.006 and 0.00002). Therefore, rHuEpo should be administered before, and not after HDT and APSCT, to lower RBC transfusion requirements after HDT and APSCT.
Bone Marrow Transplantation 06/2005; 35(9):903-7. · 3.75 Impact Factor