To evaluate in real-life conditions the effectiveness and safety of a biosimilar of epoetin alpha (Retacrit®) in chemotherapy-induced anemia and the impact of iron supplementation.
This was a longitudinal, observational, prospective study of 12-16 weeks conducted in 195 French centers. The primary endpoint was the achievement of target Hb (with an increase of Hb 1 g/dL) or an increase of Hb 2 g/dL, in the absence of transfusion in the previous 3 weeks.
2076 patients (women, 50.6%; mean age, 67.0 years) with malignant diseases (solid tumors, 79.8%; lymphomas, 12.7%; multiple myeloma, 6.6%) were analyzed. A total of 655 patients received oral iron (40.5%), intravenous iron (58.9%) or both (0.6%). At inclusion, 10.0% and 18.2% of patients without and with iron supplementation had serum ferritin <100 µg/L, respectively. Transferrin saturation (TSAT) ≤20% was more frequent in patients with supplementation (76.6%) than without supplementation (33.9%). The mean weekly doses of epoetin alpha biosimilar and planned duration of treatment were comparable regardless of iron supplementation. The primary endpoint was achieved in 70.5% and 70.2% of patients without and with iron supplementation, respectively. Three (0.1%) serious thromboembolic events related to treatment with epoetin alpha biosimilar were reported.
Epoetin alpha biosimilar was effective and well tolerated for treating chemotherapy-induced anemia. Patients in subgroup with iron supplementation had lower TSAT at inclusion compared to subgroup without supplementation. Comparable mean Hb levels were achieved in both subgroups. The rate of patients with iron supplementation through the intravenous route was however insufficient.

S. Karger AG, Basel.