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Anemic Patients With MDS Gain Long-Term Benefits From Erythropoietin and Myeloid Growth Factor Hormones
Date:9/17/2009

berg, MD, Professor of Medicine, Stanford University Cancer Center. "Our goal was to manage anemia while not increasing the risk of transformation to leukemia, and we undertook this study to understand if this combination might be successfully utilized in these patients."

The results of the study proved successful for this group of patients with lower-risk MDS and anemia. After the first course of therapy, 36 percent of patients in the EPO arm responded to treatment, compared with only 9.6 percent in the SC alone arm. After subsequent courses, 47 percent responded in the EPO arm. Researchers then followed both patient groups for a median of 5.8 years to determine their long-term response to treatment. Responders to EPO experienced increased survival in comparison to the non-responders (5.5 vs. 2.3 years) and significantly improved physical, emotional, and functional well-being, reduced fatigue, and improved overall quality of life. The research team otherwise found no statistically significant differences in overall survival of patients between the EPO and SC arms (3.1 vs. 2.6 years) or the incidence of transformation to AML (7.5 vs. 10.5 percent of patients, respectively), suggesting long-term safety of the EPO treatment regimen.

The study results also indicated that the combination of EPO plus G-CSF was beneficial for patients who either did not respond initially to EPO or who experienced a delayed response. Furthermore, higher doses of EPO seemed to prove valuable for a proportion of patients who initially failed to respond. Importantly, the outcomes suggested long-term tolerance to the treatment combination, with a low overall incidence of adverse events. Specifically, the researchers found no significant treatment-related increase in incidence of either cardiovascular or thrombotic (clotting) events or transformation to AML in the patients who received EPO alone or with G-CSF, as compared with those in the SC arm.

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SOURCE American Society of Hematology
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