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Novel Therapeutic Approaches May Transform Treatment and Improve Patient Outcomes in Several Platelet Disorders
Date:12/6/2008

bleeding following high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplant can be prevented through an experimental therapeutic strategy in which patients receive platelet transfusions only if they have experienced clinically relevant bleeding. In this study, the experimental strategy was compared with a traditional preventive transfusion strategy in which patients received a transfusion if platelet counts were less than or equal to

10/nL. The researchers concluded that the experimental strategy was both cost effective and safe in this patient population.

A total of 171 patients who had recently received high-dose chemotherapy or autologous stem cell transplant for the treatment of various hematologic cancers (multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Hodgkin disease, and acute leukemia) were randomized to one of two treatment arms: a traditional arm that received preventive platelet transfusions or an experimental arm that was treated only if the patient had experienced signs of clinically relevant bleeding. The primary objective of the study was the reduction of platelet transfusions by 15 to 25 percent. Secondary objectives included safety, duration of leukopenia and thrombocytopenia, and the number of red blood cell transfusions.

Platelet transfusions were significantly reduced by 27 percent in the experimental arm as compared with the traditional arm. In the experimental arm, 46 percent of patients did not need any platelet transfusions, compared with 22 percent of patients in the traditional arm. Using clinically relevant bleeding as the trigger for platelet transfusions rather than using platelet counts of less than or equal to 10/nL as the trigger resulted in more minor hemorrhages occurring in the experimental arm as compared with the traditional arm (28.7 percent versus 9.5 percent); however, no life-threatening or fatal bleeding was reported. The duration of leukopenia and the need for red blood cell tr
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SOURCE American Society of Hematology
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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