Serum erythropoietin and creatinine concentrations as predictive factors for response to recombinant human erythropoietin treatment in anaemic tumour patients on chemotherapy.
- T Fjornes
- G J Wiedemann
- K Sack
- W Jelkmann
- Corresponding author:
Published online on: Thursday, January 1, 1998
Recent studies have shown that recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) is effective in correcting anaemia in about 50% of tumour patients. Predictive parameters for the response to rHuEPO still need to be established. In the present prospective study, rHuEPO therapy was scheduled in 22 patients with solid tumours for 12 weeks (3x10,000 U rHuEPO/week s.c.). If response was not achieved within 4 weeks, the dose was increased to 3x20,000 U rHuEPO/week. All patients received combined chemotherapy (ifosfamide, carboplatin, etoposide) before and during rHuEPO therapy. 10 of the 22 patients responded to rHuEPO and did no longer need blood transfusions. In 8 of the 10 responders and in 2 of the 12 non-responders serum creatinine concentration was increased before rHuEPO therapy was started. In addition, the endogenous serum EPO concentrations were significantly lower in the responders versus the non-responders. We conclude that rHuEPO is primarily effective in patients with chemotherapy-induced renal impairment. The rate of the response to rHuEPO is high when the baseline serum EPO level is <75 U/l and the serum creatinine concentration is greater than normal (or the estimated creatinine clearance <60 ml/min).