Benefits of early intervention with erythropoiesis- stimulating proteins in chemotherapy-induced anemia.
Anemia is common in patients treated with chemotherapy for both solid and hematologic malignancies, contributing to fatigue and diminished quality of life and exposing them to the inherent risks of red blood cell transfusions. Erythropoiesis-stimulating proteins have been shown to increase hemoglobin levels, reduce the need for transfusions, and improve quality of life. The current practice guidelines recommend treating moderate to severe chemotherapy-induced anemia with erythropoiesis-stimulating proteins, but the risk of transfusions may be less with earlier intervention at higher hemoglobin levels. A review of the literature suggests that treating mild chemotherapy-induced anemia with erythropoiesis-stimulating proteins reduces the risks of transfusions and the development of more-severe anemia. Weighing the clinical evidence together with other clinical and economic considerations should provide greater insight into the benefits of treating mild anemia in patients treated with chemotherapy.
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