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Volume 2016, Article ID 8057650, 9 pages
Research Article

Antianemic Treatment of Cancer Patients in German Routine Practice: Data from a Prospective Cohort Study—The Tumor Anemia Registry

1Outpatient Clinic for Hematology and Oncology, Sachsenring 69, 50677 Cologne, Germany
2Outpatient Clinic for Oncology, Kettwiger Strasse 62, 45468 Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany
3Outpatient Clinic for Oncology, Prinzregentenstrasse 1, 86150 Augsburg, Germany
4Department for Internal Medicine I, Westpfalz-Klinikum, Hellmut-Hartert-Strasse 1, 67655 Kaiserslautern, Germany
5iOMEDICO, Hanferstrasse 28, 79108 Freiburg, Germany
6Outpatient Clinic for Interdisciplinary Oncology and Hematology, Wirthstrasse 11c, 79110 Freiburg, Germany

Received 1 October 2015; Revised 3 December 2015; Accepted 14 December 2015

Academic Editor: Bruno Annibale

Copyright © 2016 Tilman Steinmetz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of this prospective cohort study was to assess current antianemic treatment of cancer patients in German routine practice, including diagnostics, treatments, and quality of life (QoL). 88 study sites recruited 1018 patients at the start of antianemic treatment with hemoglobin (Hb) levels <11 g/dL (females) or <12 g/dL (males). Patients were followed up for 12 weeks. 63% of the patients had inoperable solid tumors, 22% operable solid tumors, and 15% hematological malignancies. Over 85% received chemotherapy. Median age was 67 years; 48% were male. Red blood cell transfusions (RBCTx) were given to 59% of all patients and to 55% of the patients with Hb ≥8 g/dL on day 1 of the observation period (day 1 treatment). Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) were the second most frequently applied day 1 treatment (20%), followed by intravenous (IV) iron (15%) and ESA + IV iron (6%). Only about a third of patients were tested for blood serum iron parameters at the start of treatment. Overall, more than half of the patients had long-term responses to antianemic therapy. Our data suggest that in routine practice diagnostics for treatable causes of anemia are underused. A high proportion of cancer patients receive RBCTx. It should be discussed whether thorough diagnostics and earlier intervention could decrease the need for RBCTx. This trial is registered with NCT01795690.