Help for the Fatigue of Cancer

Drug corrects anemia in some people with disease, study finds

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WEDNESDAY, June 25, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- A once-a-month dose of the drug Aranesp corrects anemia in cancer patients who aren't receiving chemotherapy.

So says a study in the June 16 issue of the British Journal of Cancer.

The findings of this Phase 2 study are notable because cancer patients not receiving chemotherapy usually visit their doctors only once a month. Being able to dose this drug once a month reduces the burden of frequent clinic visits for the patient and doctor.

The study was led by Dr. Robert E. Smith, director of the Cancer Treatment and Research Institute, Baptist Medical Center, and a clinical associate professor at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.

Anemia is a common problem in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. But many cancer patients also suffer anemia due to the disease itself. Even though it's common and causes symptoms such as severe physical and mental exhaustion, anemia in cancer patients is under-recognized and under-treated.

Currently, blood transfusion is the only U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved treatment for cancer-related chronic anemia.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about anemia.

SOURCE: British Journal of Cancer, news release, June 16, 2003

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