Dr Tampellini and colleagues from Italy evaluated the influence of hemoglobin levels in predicting response to 5-fluorouracil-based first-line chemotherapy in advanced colorectal cancer.
The research team collected data from 631 patients from 3 different institutions.
Globally, overall response rate was 36%.
Factors influencing response rate were 5-fluorouracil dose intensity, oxaliplatin, performance status, and hemoglobin levels.
The researchers found in subgroup analysis significant differences in response rate between anemic and nonanemic patients.
|Anemia predicted activity of first-line 5-fluorouracil-based chemotherapy|
|British Journal of Cancer|
Patients treated with infusional chemotherapies, with high 5-fluorouracil dose intensity, and with liver metastases also had differences in response rates.
The team observed no differences in those subjects treated with bolus schedules or according to gender.
Anemia was a strong predictor for activity of first-line 5-fluorouracil-based chemotherapy, especially in those groups that showed the best responses.
Dr Tampellini's team concluded, “Patients with higher hemoglobin levels recorded a greater response rate.”
“Also a longer time to progression and survival than anemic subjects.”
“Prospective evaluation of role of correcting anemia on response to therapy is justified by these results.”