Epoetin and Darbepoetin Reduce Need for Transfusions, Increase Risk of Blood Clots for Anemia in Cancer Patients, Review Finds
Epoetin and darbepoetin reduce the need for blood transfusions in cancer patients with anemia receiving chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy treatment, according to an updated research review from AHRQ. These findings are consistent with a previous review on this topic published in 2006. However, epoetin and darbepoetin are associated with an increased risk of thromboembolism, and the use of these therapies increases the risk of death during and shortly following treatment, the review found. Insufficient evidence exists to draw conclusions about the long-term effects of these treatments on survival. These findings are available in the research review, Epoetin and Darbepoetin for Managing Anemia in Patients Undergoing Cancer Treatment—Comparative Effectiveness Update.