Optimising management of neutropenia and anaemia in cancer
chemotherapy––advances in cytokine therapy
Salvatore Siena, Simona Secondino, Laura Giannetta,
Ornella Carminati and Paolo Pedrazzoli
Divisione Oncologica Medica Falck, Dipartimento di Oncologia ad
Ematologia, Ospedale Niguarda Ca'Granda, Piazza Ospedale Maggiore 3, Milan
I-20162, Italy. Accepted 16 May 2003. Available online 4 October 2003.
and anaemia are serious complications of myelosuppressive chemotherapy.
They have a negative impact on patient quality of life and may reduce response
Febrile neutropenia, a potentially life-threatening complication of neutropenia,
frequently requires hospital admission, while fatigue and weakness from anaemia
reduce patient's capacity for activity.
Pegfilgrastim and darbepoetin alfa, were designed to simplify and optimise
treatment for patients with cancer.
Once-per-cycle pegfilgrastim is as effective as daily filgrastim with respect to
duration of severe neutropenia (DSN) and may have a lower incidence of febrile
neutropenia than filgrastim.
Darbepoetin alfa has enhanced biological activity and a serum terminal half-life
three-fold longer than that of erythropoietin (EPO), which translates into rapid
and sustained correction of anaemia with less frequent dosing.
These novel cytokines have the potential to simplify the management of
neutropenia and anaemia with fewer injections and less disruption to patients
Keywords: Anaemia; Cytokine; Darbepoetin alfa; Erythropoietin; Granulocyte
colony-stimulating factor; Neutropenia; Pegfilgrastim
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