Treatment patterns and outcomes in the management of anaemia in cancer patients in Europe: Findings from the Anaemia Cancer Treatment (ACT) study

Heinz Ludwig, Matti Aapro, Carsten Bokemeyer, Karen MacDonald, Pierre Soubeyran, Matthew Turner, Tara Albrecht, Ivo Abraham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Scopus citations


Objectives: To examine anaemia management in cancer patients treated with erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) in Europe. Methods: Retrospective pharmacoepidemiologic study of 2192 patients from 307 centres. Minimum of 3 visits over 8-10 weeks with ESA treatment initiated at visit 1. Results: Most patients were treated per guidelines, except for low iron supplementation rates. Mean Hb rose from 9.54 ± 0.95 g/dl to 10.88 ± 1.49 g/dl at visit 3, without concomitant rise in WHO/ECOG score. Response rates were 65.0% (Hb increase ↑ ≥ 1 g/dl); 54.3% (Hb increase ↑ ≥ 1 g/dl in 8 weeks); 38.9% (haematopoietic response); 33.7% (Hb increase ↑ ≥ 2 g/dl) and 18.8% (Hb between12.0 and 12.9 g/dl). Conclusions: Treatment patterns were guideline congruent, except for (intravenous) iron supplementation. Hb increased by 1.34 g/dl. A net erythropoiesis boost of Hb ≥ 1 g/dl is attainable in two-thirds of patients and should be condensed to 8 weeks on an individual patient basis. Anaemia management in Europe has improved significantly. The general effectiveness and relative safety of judicious ESA treatment are evident.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1603-1615
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009



  • Anaemia
  • Cancer
  • Erythropoietin
  • Europe
  • Haemoglobin
  • Outcomes
  • Response
  • Treatment patterns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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