Chang, J., Couture, F.A., Young, S.D., Lau, C.Y., & McWatters, K.L. (2004). Weekly administration of epoetin alfa improves cognition and quality of life in patients with breast cancer receiving chemotherapy. Supportive Cancer Therapy, 2, 52–58.doi:10.3816/SCT.2004.n.023
The study's primary aim was to evaluate the effect of epoetin alfa on changes in quality of life and utility scale scores at week 12. Its secondary aim was to evaluate transfusion reduction and hemoglobulin level increase.
Participants were screened at the initiation of chemotherapy with hemoglobin (Hgb) levels ≤ 15.0 grams per deciliter (g/dL). Randomization occurred when the Hgb level was decreased to 12.0 g/dL. They received 40,000 IU of erythropoietin subcutaneously each week for 16 weeks or for 4 weeks after the completion of chemotherapy, whichever was longer (the maximum amount of time participants could receive erythropoietin was 28 weeks).
This multi-site study was conducted in Canada.
The study was a phrase III, randomized, open-label, multi-center trial.
Based on the subscale HUI survey, significant improvement in cognition (p = 0.02) was found in participants who received erythropoietin.
No objective measure for cognitive function was used.