Reaffirming previous trial results, the new study, published in International Journal of Radiation Oncology Â· Biology Â· Physics found that while radiation therapy had no impact on outcomes in head and neck cancer patients, it caused anemia in several.
Erythropoietin (EPO) support during radiation therapy had no impact on outcomes in patients with head and neck squamous-cell carcinoma and mild or moderate anemia, long-term results of a randomized trial showed. Locoregional failure, locoregional progression-free survival, and overall survival did not differ significantly between patients who received concomitant EPO and those who did not. If anything, the trial suggested a possible detrimental effect of EPO, as all three outcomes favored patients who received radiation therapy alone.
Added to negative findings from previous trials, the results do not reopen the previously closed door to use of EPO in cancer patients receiving curative therapy, as reported by George Shenouda, MD, of McGill University in Montreal, and colleagues in the April issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology · Biology · Physics.
Link to the article in MedpageToday: