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Aranesp Reduces Transfusions in SCLC Patients

Aranesp Reduces Transfusions in SCLC Patients

THOUSAND OAKS, California—Aranesp (darbepoetin alfa, Amgen) significantly reduced red blood cell (RBC) transfusions and did not affect overall or progression-free survival, compared with placebo, in a randomized, double-blind, phase III trial in 600 patients with previously untreated extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer receiving platinum-based chemotherapy. Although the study (with a target hemoglobin of 13 g/dL) failed to meet its endpoint of increased survival, the results reinforced its benefit in patients with chemotherapy-induced anemia, Amgen said in a news release. Patients received either Aranesp 300 &mgr;g or placebo once weekly for 4 weeks and then once every 3 weeks for the rest of the 24 weeks of treatment.

The Aranesp-treated patients had a significant change in hemoglobin from baseline and a significantly lower need for RBC transfusions (HR 0.40).

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