ESAs Increase Mortality in Cancer Patients,

Meta-Analysis Confirms CME/CE

News Author: Zosia Chustecka
CME Author: Charles Vega, MD, FAAFP

CME/CE Released: 05/04/2009; processing....


May 4, 2009 — The huge meta-analysis of individual patient data that confirmed an increased mortality in cancer patients treated with erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) has been published in the May 2 issue of the Lancet.

The researchers analyzed individual data for 13,933 cancer patients participating in 53 trials, and found that ESAs increased the relative risk for mortality by 17%. When they considered only cancer patients who were undergoing chemotherapy (10,441 patients in 38 trials), they found that ESAs increased the relative risk by 10%.

These results were first presented at the 2008 annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASCO), and were reported by Medscape Oncology at the time.

"The increase in mortality is very worrisome," J. Evan Sadler, MD, PhD, from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri,

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