[Erythropoietin and cisplatin-induced neuropathies in cancer patients]

Clin Ter. 2002 May-Jun;153(3):177-80.
[Article in Italian]


Anaemia commonly occurs in cancer patients on chemotherapy, often necessitating blood transfusion, and, in most recent years, treatment with human recombinant cythropoietin (rHuEPO). However, several extra-hematological effects were reported for EPO, and multi-organ physiological effects on development and repair of tissues are described both on nerves and muscles. Moreover, EPO is presently used in oncological patients with the goal of preventing or limiting anemia secondary to chemotherapy. Ten patients with advanced lung cancer and without neurological impairment assessed by Siegal score and without severe anemia, were studied. Patients (age 56.2 +/- 8.3 years) were random assigned to two groups of 5 patients each: the control group and the EPO treated group. In both groups, at the end of the study, hemoglobin concentration was not different (above 9 mg/dl). In EPO treated group neurological score was 4.00 +/- 1.87, significantly lower (p < 0.004) in comparison with untreated group (score 9.20 +/- 4.32). From these preliminary data we suggest that EPO treatment in cancer patients can exert also a limiting effect on cisplatin peripheral neurotoxicity.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • English Abstract
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anemia / prevention & control
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Cisplatin / adverse effects*
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Erythropoietin / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Hemoglobins / analysis
  • Humans
  • Karnofsky Performance Status
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Peripheral Nervous System / drug effects*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / prevention & control
  • Pleural Neoplasms / drug therapy


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Hemoglobins
  • Erythropoietin
  • Cisplatin