Epoetin-α during radiotherapy for stage III esophageal carcinoma: A prospective, nonrandomized study

Dirk Rades, Steven E. Schild, Emre F. Yekebas, Hendric Job, Rudolf Schwarz, Volker Rudat

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12 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND. It has been suggested that hemoglobin levels of 12-14 g/dL are optimal for tumor oxygenation, radiosensitivity, and prognosis. In this prospective study, the authors evaluated the effectiveness of epoetin-α to maintain hemoglobin levels at 12-14 g/dL during radiotherapy (RT) for patients with UICC Stage III esophageal carcinoma, and they examined the impact of erythropoetin on overall survival (OS), metastatic-free survival (MFS), and local control (LC). METHODS. Sixty patients who received RT between March, 2001 and September, 2004, were included in this prospective, nonrandomized study. Thirty patients received epoetin-α (150 IU/kg 3 times per week) during RT (Group A), and 30 patients did not receive epoetin-α (Group B). Epoetin-a was started at hemoglobin levels < 13 g/dL and was stopped at hemoglobin levels ≥ 14 g/dL. Hemoglobin was measured before RT and once weekly during RT. RESULTS. Both patient groups were balanced for age, gender, performance status, tumor location/length, histology, grading, tumor classification, lymph node status, chemotherapy, treatment (45-50.4 grays [Gy] plus resection vs. 45.0-50.4 Gy vs. 59.4-66.0 Gy), and hemoglobin level before RT. In 20 of 30 patients (67%) from Group A and in 3 of 30 patients (10%) from Group B, ≥ 60% of hemoglobin levels during RT were 12-14 g/dL (P = 0.003). The median change in hemoglobin was + 0.4 g/dL per week in Group A and - 0.4 g/dL per week in Group B. LC was significantly better in Group A (66% vs. 38% at 1 year, respectively; P = 0.012), a trend was observed for OS (59% vs. 33%, respectively; P = 0.08), and MFS did not differ significantly (43% vs. 38%, respectively; P = 0.34). No epoetin-α-related toxicity was observed. CONCLUSIONS. Epoetin-α was effective in maintaining the hemoglobin levels at 12-14 g/dL during RT. The application of epoetin-α significantly improved LC, and a trend was observed for OS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2274-2279
Number of pages6
JournalCancer
Volume103
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2005

Keywords

  • Epoetin-α
  • Esophageal carcinoma
  • Radiotherapy
  • Tumor oxygenation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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    Rades, D., Schild, S. E., Yekebas, E. F., Job, H., Schwarz, R., & Rudat, V. (2005). Epoetin-α during radiotherapy for stage III esophageal carcinoma: A prospective, nonrandomized study. Cancer, 103(11), 2274-2279. https://doi.org/10.1002/cncr.21042