Is recombinant human erythropoietin (rh-epo) more than just a treatment of anemia in cancer and chemotherapy?

Med Hypotheses. 2003 Jan;60(1):89-93. doi: 10.1016/s0306-9877(02)00337-7.


Recombinant human eythropoietin (rh-epo) is a well established treatment for many kinds of anemia including the anemia of cancer with or without myelosuppressive chemotherapy. This review considers the effects of rh-epo in humans, tumour-bearing and healthy experimental animals treated with cisplatin with or without rh-epo, and proposes that the ability of rh-epo to improve the quality of life in cancer patients may also be due to interference with the prostaglandin pathways.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anemia / blood
  • Anemia / drug therapy*
  • Anemia / etiology
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Cisplatin / adverse effects
  • Erythropoietin / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Prostaglandins / metabolism
  • Quality of Life
  • Rats
  • Recombinant Proteins


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Prostaglandins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Erythropoietin
  • Cisplatin