1628 - Anemia point prevalence in patients receiving chemotherapy in 56 centers in Italy and Austria

Date 28 September 2012
Event ESMO Congress 2012
Session Publication Only
Topics Supportive Care
Presenter Laura Merlini
Authors L. Merlini1, G. Carteni2, S. Iacobelli3, C. Stelitano4, M. Airoldi5, P. Balke6, F. Keil7, F. Haslbauer8, L. Belton9, B. Pujol10
  • 1Medical Oncology, Ospedale Civile S. Bortolo, 36100 - Vicenza/IT
  • 2Onco-hematology, Azienda Ospedaliera Cardarelli, Napoli/IT
  • 3Medical Oncology, Ospedale Clinicizzato SS.Annunziata, Chieti/IT
  • 4Hematology, Azienda Ospedaliera Bianchi Melacrino Morelli, Reggio Calabria/IT
  • 5Medical Oncology, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Le Molinette, Torino/IT
  • 61st Medical Department, General Hospital St. Pölten and Karl Landsteiner Institute of Oncology, St. Pölten/AT
  • 7Hematology-oncology, Landeskrankenhaus Leoben, Leoben/AT
  • 8Internal Medicine, Landeskrankenhaus Vöcklabruck, Vöcklabruck/AT
  • 9Biostatistics (contract Worker), Amgen Ltd, Uxbridge/UK
  • 10Haematology/oncology, Amgen Europe, Zug/CH



To evaluate the point prevalence of anemia in patients with non-myeloid tumors being treated with chemotherapy (±radiotherapy) in a clinical practice setting.


This was a cross-sectional, observational survey. Centers had to prespecify a single day, during a 4-month enrollment window, to report specific data collected as part of normal clinical practice for patients attending in relation to chemotherapy treatment. Data for all centers/consenting patients were included in the analyses. The primary endpoint was the point prevalence of anemia as determined using a prespecified algorithm, which defined a patient as anemic based on 1) hemoglobin (Hb) ≤10 g/dL on/within 3 days prior to visit, 2) ongoing anemia treatment at visit, or 3) physician diagnosis of anemia together with ≥1 anemia symptom at visit. Reasons for visit, patient demography, tumor type, systemic chemotherapy, Hb levels, and consequences of anemia, were secondary endpoints. Patients provided informed consent where required by local regulations.


Between 18/11/2010-18/3/2011, data for 1412 patients were collected (Italy n = 1130 [80%]; Austria n = 282 [20%]). Of these, 49% were men, median age was 65 years and most (80%) had solid tumors (colorectal: 18%; breast: 18%; lung: 14%; prostate: 3%; other solid tumors: 28%). Overall, 57% of patients had received ≤3 chemotherapy cycles. The point prevalence of anemia was 32% (95% CI: 29.4%, 34.2%); 14% of patients were deemed anemic based on Hb levels ≤10 g/dL, 9% based on evidence of anemia treatment and 8% based on physician assessment of anemia together with ≥1 anemia symptom. Overall, 82% of patients had Hb data; the mean (SD) Hb level was 11.7 (1.7) g/dL. 32% of patients had anemia symptoms, the most common were fatigue (28%), depression (9%) and dyspnea (8%). Few patients (4%) had had their current chemotherapy cycle delayed due to anemia. On visit day or ≤28 days prior, 6% of patients had evidence of whole blood or red blood cell transfusion, 13% had evidence of erythropoiesis-stimulating agent use and 6% had evidence of iron use.


In this survey one-third of patients with non-myeloid tumors undergoing chemotherapy were found to be anemic on the prespecified study day.


L. Belton: Contract worker for Amgen Ltd,

B. Pujol: Employed by Amgen Europe

All other authors have declared no conflicts of interest.