Background: The efficacy of epoetin beta (E) is well documented in clinical trials in anemic cancer patients (pts). This study was conducted to assess E use, efficacy, safety and effect on quality of life in cancer pts, in usual practice.

Methods: This prospective, multicenter, longitudinal, observational French study assessed a 4-month follow-up of informed consent cancer pts (including both solid tumors (ST) and non-myeloid hematological malignancies (H)) treated with E for chemotherapy-related anemia. Data were collected between January 2005 and March 2006. We only present here the results of the H subgroup.

Results: Among 2809 pts, 675 had an H including 325 non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), 181 multiple myeloma (MM) and 80 chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). 52% of pts received their first line of chemotherapy, 24% their second one. At inclusion, Hb levels were distributed as follows: < 9 g/dl: 32%, [9–11[ g/dl, 56%, [11–13[ g/dl, 11%. At inclusion, endogenous erythropoietin rate was monitored for only 8% of pts, ferritin was available for 32%, transferrin saturation for 17% and reticulocytes for 24%. At initiation, pts received a median dose of 30000 U/week of E on a once weekly regimen schedule for 98% of pts. E was associated with iron supplementation in 20% of pts (1% IV). The mean Hb level increased from 10 g/dl [5 – 14] at baseline to 13 g/dl [7 – 17] in the entire cohort of H pts, from 10 g/dl [5 – 14] to 12 g/dl [7 – 16] in NHL pts, from 10 g/dl [6 – 13] to 13 g/dl [8 – 17] in MM pts and from 10 g/dl [6 – 13] to 13 g/dl [7 – 17] in CLL pts. Hb response rate (RR) was 56% (CI95: 51 – 61) in H pts, 53% (CI95: 46 – 60) in NHL pts, 57% (CI95: 48 – 66) in MM pts and 56% (CI95: 41 – 70) in CLL pts. 41% of patients were transfused at inclusion or during the study. Good performance status (PS≤1) (OR=1.6, CI95: 1.1–2.5), non platinum-based regimen (OR=2.4, CI95: 1.2–4.9) and iron supplementation (OR=2.6, CI95: 1.4–5.1) are identified both in univariate and multivariate analysis as predictive factors of Hb response. The mean of FACT score improved from 29 (CI95: 26–31) at initiation to 36 (CI95: 34–38) at the end of study (p<0.0001). Thromboembolic events were reported in 2% of patients.

Conclusion: These results confirm the efficacy and safety of epoetin beta in routine practice for anemic patients with a non-myeloid hematological malignancy receiving chemotherapy. Epoetin beta improves the quality of life measured by FACT score.

Author notes

Disclosure: Research Funding: Hoffman-La Roche France.