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December 24 2008

Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agents in the Treatment of Cancer-Associated Anemia

JAMA. 2008;300(24):2854-2857. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.869

To the Editor: The meta-analysis by Dr Bennett and colleagues1 evaluated venous thromboembolism (VTE) and mortality rates associated with ESA administration for the treatment of anemia among patients with cancer. The authors conclude that the use of ESA in patients with cancer is associated with increased risks of VTE and mortality.

Some solid cancers such as pancreatic cancer and brain tumors have a greater associated risk for developing VTE than others.2 However, the authors did not identify these specific types of cancer in the ESA and control groups. It would be helpful if the authors could stratify their analyses by cancer type.