Biosimilar Shows Promise Treating Chemotherapy-Induced Anemia in Elderly Patients

The biosimilar erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA) epoetin was well-tolerated and efficacious in the treatment of geriatric patients with chemotherapy-induced anemia (CIA), a recent study found.

CIA is a common complication among cancer patients, particularly older individuals. Biosimilar ESAs can lower the costs of supportive cancer treatments for this patient population. In a subanalysis published in Dove Press, investigators compared the efficacy and tolerability of an epoetin biosimilar for the treatment of CIA in patients <70 years versus patients ≥70 years.

Patients with CIA (hemoglobin [Hb] <11 g/dL) in association with chemotherapy for solid tumors, lymphoma, or myeloma, were enrolled in the ORHEO observational trial. Participants were administered an epoetin biosimilar, and were evaluated at 3 and 6 months for a response.

A response was defined in the study as achieving target Hb without blood transfusions during the 3 weeks preceding measurement, Hb ≥10 g/dL, or Hb increase ≥1 g/dL since study enrollment.

The secondary endpoints were changes in Hb level, transfusion rates, treatment interruptions, and adverse events (AEs), according to the study.

All statistical analyses were conducted on the per protocol population, which excluded patients with missing baseline Hb values, patients for whom age was not recorded, patients who had not initiated chemotherapy at baseline, patients who were not receiving an epoetin biosimilar at baseline, and patients who switched to another epoetin treatment between baseline and 6 months.

ORHEO is a large, observational, non-interventional, longitudinal, national, multi-center study that included 2333 patients from 235 centers.

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