Oncologist. 2004;9(6):696-707

Free Full Text Article:

A randomized comparison of every-2-week darbepoetin alfa and weekly epoetin alfa for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced anemia in patients with breast, lung, or gynecologic cancer.

Schwartzberg LS, Yee LK, Senecal FM, Charu V, Tomita D, Wallace J, Rossi G.

The West Clinic, 100 North Humphreys Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee 38120, USA.

An important clinical question is the relative efficacy of the most common dosages of darbepoetin alfa (Aranesp; Amgen Inc.; Thousand Oaks, CA) 200 microg every 2 weeks (Q2W) and epoetin alfa (Procrit; Ortho Biotech Products, LP; Raritan, NJ) 40,000 U weekly (QW) for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced anemia. We designed three concurrent randomized, open-label, multicenter, identical trials (with the exception of tumor type criteria of breast, gynecologic, or lung cancer) of darbepoetin alfa and epoetin alfa in patients with chemotherapy-induced anemia to validate the Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire for Anemia (PSQ-An) treatment tool and to compare the efficacies and safety profiles of these two agents. In each trial, patients were randomized 1:1 to receive either darbepoetin alfa at a dose of 200 microg Q2W or epoetin alfa at a dose of 40,000 U QW for up to 16 weeks. The PSQ-An was assessed for validity, feasibility, and reliability. Secondary clinical endpoints were analyzed using the primary analysis set. Both individual trial analyses and a protocol-specified combined analysis of data from all three trials were conducted. Overall, 312 patients (157 darbepoetin alfa; 155 epoetin alfa) were randomized and received study drug. Baseline characteristics were similar in both treatment groups in each trial and overall. The PSQ-An was valid, feasible, and reliable. In general, no difference between treatment groups was observed for hemoglobin- and transfusion-based endpoints in each individual trial or in the combined analysis. From exploratory analyses, achievement and maintenance of a hemoglobin target range (11-13 g/dl) were similar in both groups. No differences in safety were observed. With the PSQ-An, formal comparisons of the impact of anemia therapies on patients and caregivers can be made in future prospective studies. Further, darbepoetin alfa (200 microg Q2W) and epoetin alfa (40,000 U QW) appear to achieve comparable clinical and hematologic outcomes.

Publication Types:
  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Validation Studies

PMID: 15561813 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]