Darbepoetin alfa once every 2 weeks for treatment of anemia in dialysis patients: a combined analysis of eight multicenter trials.
Author(s): Mann J, Kessler M, Villa G, Martinez-Castelao A, Feldt-Rasmussen B, Cruz J, Horl WH, Mattin C, Praml C, Wilkie M
Affiliation(s): Stadtisches Krankenhaus Munchen-Schwabing, 6. Medizinische Abteilung, Kolner Platz 1, 80804 Munchen, Germany. email@example.com
Publication date & source: 2007-03, Clin Nephrol., 67(3):140-8.
Publication type: Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial
AIM: Darbepoetin alfa has a longer half-life than epoetin-(EPO) alfa or beta, allowing administration at less frequent intervals for the treatment of renal anemia. The aim of the present analysis was to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of an every-2-week (Q2W) schedule of darbepoetin alfa in a large cohort of dialysis patients. METHODS: Data were combined from eight similarly designed 24-week phase 3b European studies, in which patients receiving EPO alfa or beta once-weekly were converted to Q2W darbepoetin alfa. Darbepoetin alfa dosage was titrated to maintain hemoglobin (Hb) between 10 and 13 g/dl and efficacy was evaluated during a 4-week evaluation period. RESULTS: In the 1,101 patients assigned to Q2W darbepoetin alfa (i.v., n = 196, s.c., n = 905), mean (SD) Hb levels were 11.53 (0.77) g/dl at baseline and 11.35 (1.04) g/dl at evaluation (mean change in Hb -0.27 g/dl, 95% confidence interval 0.34, -0.20). Hb levels were maintained between 10 and 13 g/dl during evaluation in 85% of patients. Darbepoetin alfa doses were similar at baseline and evaluation, and the i.v. and s.c. routes were associated with similar efficacy and dose requirements. Darbepoetin alfa was well-tolerated. CONCLUSIONS: Q2W darbepoetin alfa is effective in maintaining Hb levels in dialysis patients switched from weekly rHuEPO, regardless of the route of administration and with no notable increase in the weekly equivalent dose.