1630 - Anemia in lung cancer and mesothelioma patients treated with chemotherapy in a routine clinical practice - an institutional experience

Date 28 September 2012
Event ESMO Congress 2012
Session Publication Only
Topics Supportive measures
Thoracic malignancies
Presenter Nina Hitij
Authors N.T. Hitij1, K. Mohorcic2, A. Sadikov3, T. Cufer4
  • 1University Clinic Golnik, 4204 - Golnik/SI
  • 2Department Of Medical Oncology, University Clinic Golnik, 4204 - Golnik/SI
  • 3Department Of Artificial Intelligence, Faculty of computer and information science Ljubljana, 1000 - Ljubljana/SI
  • 4Medical Oncology Unit, University Clinic Golnik, 4204 - Golnik/SI



Anemia is common in patients with lung cancer. The aim of our analysis was to establish the rate and severity of anemia in a collective of advanced lung cancer and mesothelioma patients, treated with chemotherapy in a routine clinical practice. In addition, the impact of anemia and its treatment strategies on patients outcome have been evaluated.

Patients and methods

146 patients treated for advanced lung cancer and/or mesothelioma at University Clinic Golnik in 2009 who received at least 2 cycles of ChT have been included. Majority of patients received platinum based ChT (120/146, 89%). The decision for transfusion administration and ESA treatment was left to the attending physician. The registered products of epoetin alfa in the standard recommended weekly dosages were used. The response to treatment was evaluated according to the RECIST criteria. Progression free survival was estimated by Kaplan-Meier curves.


Anemia was detected in 83.6% (122/146) of pts. 23.8% (29/122) of pts were anemic already before ChT and 55.7% (68/122) of all anemic pts experienced anemia after the first cycle of ChT. Statistically significant correlation was found between chemotherapy induced anemia and Hb value before starting ChT (p= 0.002). ESA treatment was administred in 60/122(49.2%) of all anemic pts and targeted value of Hb level >110g/L was achieved in 65.5% of those pts. The red blood cell transfusion was given to only 19/122 (15%) of anemic patients, half of which were also treated with ESA. PFS of patients with anemia before ChT was significantly shorter compared to non-anemic pts (p = 0.001). ESA treatment did not affect PFS despite the fact that the proportion of trombembolic events was higher in patients receiving ESA or not (8.3% vs 3.8%, respectively).


Our results confirmed that anemia is a frequent complication in lung cancer patients treated with ChT. Treatment with ESA was safe but marginally effective in our group of patients.


All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.