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Keywords:

  • Hematopoietic growth factors;
  • EPO;
  • G-CSF;
  • GM-CSF;
  • TPO;
  • Malignancies

Abstract

Myelosuppression, in particular neutropenia and anemia are serious complications of malignancy and its treatment. Neutropenia can make patients vulnerable to potentially life-threatening infection. It often results in dose reductions and delay of planned chemotherapy, which can have a significant detrimental effect on tumour response and survival. Anemia can be associated with a range of debilitating effects, which can severely impair patients' QOL. In addition, there is some evidence recognizing anemia as a poor prognostic indicator, associated with reduced treatment efficacy. Reduction in the duration and severity of neutropenia and anemia is possible by initiation of appropriate growth factors during the first and subsequent cycles of chemotherapy. New and improved growth factor support with agents such as pegfilgrastim and darbepoetin alfa has the potential to improve the management of chemotherapy-induced neutropenia and anemia further. Thrombopoietin is currently in clinical trials to assess its potential role in the treatment of thrombocytopenia in patients with cancer. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.