Prediction of the need for red cell transfusion in newly diagnosed ovarian cancer patients undergoing platinum-based treatment

David Heddens, David S. Alberts, Edward V. Hannigan, Steven D. Williams, Dava Garcia, Denise J. Roe, Jeffrey Bell, Ronald D. Alvarez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objective. The objective of this study was to develop a predictive algorithm for the likelihood of red blood cell transfusion in women with ovarian cancer undergoing platinum-based chemotherapy. Methods. Patients in this analysis came from two phase III studies conducted by the Southwest Oncology Group and Gynecologic Oncology Group of platinum-based chemotherapy in advanced ovarian cancer patients, SWOG 8412 and SWOG 8501/GOG 104. The probability of packed red blood cell (PRBC) transfusion was modeled as a function of stage of disease, age, weight, creatinine clearance, hemoglobin (Hb) prior to the start of therapy, the platinum agent administered (i.e., cisplatin vs carboplatin), and the route of drug administration (i.e., intravenous vs intraperitoneal). Results. Overall, 16% of patients developed at least grade 3 anemia (Hb < 8 g/dL) during primary chemotherapy, with 2% experiencing grade 4 anemia (Hb < 6.5 g/dL). PRBC transfusions were administered to 32% of patients. Factors that were determined to be predictive of PRBC transfusions were age and baseline Hb. In patients with bulky stage III or stage IV disease, the odds of transfusion increased by 66% for each 10-year increase in age and by 65% for each 1 g/dL decrease in baseline hemoglobin. Thus a patient aged 65 with a baseline Hb of 10.5 g/dL has approximately a 40% chance of transfusion. Conclusions. Older ovarian cancer patients (> 65 years) with low baseline Hb levels (< 10.5) at initiation of platinum-based chemotherapy are likely to become more anemic during treatment and should be considered for prophylactic erythropoietin therapy as an alternative to transfusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-243
Number of pages5
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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