• erythropoietin;
  • recombinant;
  • ovarian neoplasms;
  • anemia/drug therapy;
  • antineoplastic agents/adverse effects



Studies have suggested that erythropoietin-stimulating agents (ESAs) may affect progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in a variety of cancer types. Because this finding had not been explored previously in ovarian or primary peritoneal carcinoma, the authors of this report analyzed their ovarian cancer population to determine whether ESA treatment for chemotherapy-induced anemia affected PFS or OS.


A retrospective review was conducted of women who were treated for ovarian cancer at the corresponding author's institution over a 10-year period (from January 1994 to May 2004). Treatment groups were formed based on the use of an ESA. Two analyses of survival were conducted to determine the effect of ESA therapy on PFS and OS. Disease status was modeled as a function of treatment group using a logistic regression model. Kaplan-Meier curves were generated to compare the groups, and a Cox proportional hazards model was fit to the data.


In total, 343 women were identified. The median age was 57 (interquartile range, 48-68 years). The majority of women were Caucasian (n = 255; 74%) and were diagnosed with stage III (n = 210; 61%), epithelial (n = 268; 78%) ovarian cancer. Although the disease stage at diagnosis and surgical staging significantly affected the rates of disease recurrence and OS, the receipt of an ESA had no effect on PFS (P = .9) or OS (P = .25).


The current results indicated that there was no difference in cancer-related PFS or OS with use of ESA in this cohort of women treated for ovarian cancer. Cancer 2011. © 2010 American Cancer Society.