Anemia treatment of lymphoproliferative malignancies with erypoiesis: an overview of state of the art

Transfus Apher Sci. 2013 Apr;48(2):277-81. doi: 10.1016/j.transci.2013.01.018. Epub 2013 Mar 7.


Anemia is a common comorbidity of lymphoproliferative malignancies, especially in multiple myeloma. Blood transfusions and ESAs (erythropoiesis stimulating agents) are both possible treatment options, but the latter is often preferred because of the potential risks of unwanted side effects related to blood transfusions. Evidence is accumulating that the use of ESAs in above clinical conditions is safe and effective and not associated with an increase in mortality or serious adverse events. 69.1% of patients achieved a hemoglobin response defined as an increase in hemoglobin of>2g/dl while receiving ESAs and concomitant chemotherapy. If supplemented with iron the hemoglobin response rate can be increased and hence the total dosage and financial cost reduced. A hemoglobin response is often accompanied by an increase in quality of life. HYPO% (hypochromic erythrocytes<5%) is believed to be both a significant positive predictor for the Hb response and also an indicator for iron supplementation if⩾5%. Conventional biochemical markers like serum ferritin concentration and transferrin saturation are not reliable for this use. The effect of EPO stimulating agents as the predictor of the Hb response, quality of life, mortality and the potential adverse events are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anemia* / blood
  • Anemia* / etiology
  • Anemia* / mortality
  • Anemia* / pathology
  • Anemia* / therapy
  • Blood Transfusion
  • Erythropoiesis / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Ferritins / blood
  • Hematinics / therapeutic use*
  • Hematologic Neoplasms* / blood
  • Hematologic Neoplasms* / mortality
  • Hematologic Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Hematologic Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Hemoglobins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Iron / blood
  • Iron / therapeutic use
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders* / blood
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders* / mortality
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders* / pathology
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders* / therapy
  • Male
  • Quality of Life


  • Hematinics
  • Hemoglobins
  • Ferritins
  • Iron