Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Anemia drug not helpful for kidney disease patients, study suggests

Date:
December 22, 2009
Source:
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Summary:
Researchers have concluded that the anemia drug darbepoetin alfa works no better than a placebo in several other applications previously thought to be promising.

An international study authored by a UT Southwestern Medical Center researcher has concluded that the anemia drug darbepoetin alfa works no better than a placebo in several other applications previously thought to be promising.

Darbepoetin alfa is one of a class of drugs used to increase red blood cells in patients with type 2 diabetes, chronic kidney disease and anemia, but in a study of 4,038 patients, it did little to reduce cardiovascular problems, death or even the need for dialysis.

Patients have used the drug and other similar drugs for at least a decade to improve the symptoms of anemia.

"We were disappointed that the drug didn't make a difference," said Dr. Robert Toto, professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern and senior author of the study in The New England Journal of Medicine. "We set out doing this trial to prove whether treatment of anemia would help our patients."

Researchers also found that subjects who took the drug were nearly twice as likely to have a stroke as those who received a placebo -- 101 subjects compared with 53.

"This is a surprise," Dr. Toto said. "Clinicians should not expect that treatment of anemia with darbepoetin and other drugs in its class will reduce their risk of cardiovascular events or prevent their kidney disease from progressing. If a clinician is treating a patient for fatigue and other symptoms of anemia and the symptoms do not improve, they should consider stopping the drug, because it may expose the patient to increased risk of stroke."

Chronic kidney disease, type 2 diabetes and anemia affect about 1 million people in the U.S., he said. Drugs such as darbepoetin alfa for treating anemic patients on dialysis (in the final stage of kidney disease) were approved in the late 1980s. Soon afterward, accepted guidelines suggested using the drug with chronic kidney disease patients not on dialysis in hopes of improving symptoms, cardiovascular death rates and preventing chronic kidney disease from progressing to dialysis.

While studies were done in an attempt to determine optimal hemoglobin levels using such drugs in these patients, no trial was conducted comparing the drug with a placebo, until TREAT -- Trial to Reduce Cardiovascular Events with Aranesp Therapy.

"From a scientific perspective, TREAT is the most rigorous," Dr. Toto said. "It's a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial."

From August 2005 until March 2009, researchers from 24 countries gave subjects with chronic kidney disease, type 2 diabetes or anemia either a placebo or darbepoetin alfa. Twenty four subjects were from UT Southwestern.

Cardiac death or events occurred in 31 percent of the darbepoetin alfa group and in 29 percent of the placebo group. Kidney disease death or progression to dialysis occurred in 32 percent of the darbepoetin alfa group and in 31 percent of the placebo group.

Researchers did find a modest decrease in reported fatigue levels and a decrease in the need for blood transfusion in subjects taking darbepoetin alfa.

The study was funded by Amgen. Dr. Toto has received consulting fees and lecture fees from Amgen and grant support from Novartis, Reata and Abbott.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by UT Southwestern Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Anemia drug not helpful for kidney disease patients, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091222104901.htm>.
UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2009, December 22). Anemia drug not helpful for kidney disease patients, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091222104901.htm
UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Anemia drug not helpful for kidney disease patients, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091222104901.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fauci: Ebola Protocols to Focus on Training

Fauci: Ebola Protocols to Focus on Training

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says he expects revised CDC protocols on Ebola to focus on training, observation and ensuring health care workers are more protected. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins