Erythropoietin-alfa During Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy for Locally Advanced Esophagogastric Adenocarcinoma

Kathrin Abbrederis, Florian Bassermann, Christoph Schuhmacher, Verena Voelter, Raymonde Busch, Nadine Roethling, Andreas Sendler, Joerg R. Siewert, Christian Peschel, Florian Lordick*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: In a previous study we showed that many patients with esophagogastric adenocarcinoma experience anemia during neoadjuvant chemotherapy. We now investigated the role of erythropoietin in managing anemia during neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Methods: Patients with esophagogastric adenocarcinoma who experienced anemia (hemoglobin < 12 g/dL) during neoadjuvant treatment received erythropoietin 10,000 IE subcutaneously three times a week. Primary outcomes were the response to erythropoietin, safety, the need for allogeneic red blood cell transfusion, and the rate of postoperative complications. Results: Between April 2003 and December 2004, 24 patients (median age, 62 years) were enrolled. The mean hemoglobin level before chemotherapy was 12.5 g/dL and the mean hemoglobin level before patients received erythropoietin was 11.5 g/dL. One year after involvement in the trial, 4 of 17 analyzable patients were still anemic (hemoglobin level < 12 mg/dL). Twenty-two patients received erythropoietin, and 16 (73%) responded. We could observe a significant increase in hemoglobin concentrations under therapy with erythropoietin to 12.6 g/dL (p < 0.001). Two patients (8%) received allogeneic transfusions; the rate of postoperative complications was 16%. There were no erythropoietin-related adverse events. Conclusions: Treatment with erythropoietin is effective and well tolerated in patients with esophagogastric adenocarcinoma who experience anemia during neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-297
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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