The European Cancer Anaemia Survey (ECAS): a large, multinational, prospective survey defining the prevalence, incidence, and treatment of anaemia in cancer patients

Eur J Cancer. 2004 Oct;40(15):2293-306. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2004.06.019.


The European Cancer Anaemia Survey (ECAS) was conducted to prospectively evaluate the prevalence, incidence and treatment of anaemia (haemoglobin <12.0 g/dL) in European cancer patients, including the relationship of mild, moderate and severe anaemia to performance status. Patients were evaluated for up to 6 months. Data (N=15367) included demographics, tumour type, performance status, haemoglobin levels, cancer treatments and anaemia treatments. Prevalence of anaemia at enrollment was 39.3% (haemoglobin <10.0 g/dL, 10%), and 67.0% during the survey (haemoglobin <10.0 g/dL, 39.3%). Low haemoglobin levels correlated significantly with poor performance status. Incidence of anaemia was 53.7% (haemoglobin <10.0 g/dL, 15.2%). Anaemia was treated in 38.9% of patients (epoetin, 17.4%; transfusion, 14.9%; and iron, 6.5%). Mean haemoglobin to initiate anaemia treatment was 9.7 g/dL. Anaemia prevalence and incidence in cancer patients are high. Anaemia significantly correlates with poor performance status and many anaemic patients are not treated.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anemia / epidemiology
  • Anemia / etiology
  • Anemia / therapy*
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Hemoglobins / analysis
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life


  • Hemoglobins