gms | German Medical Science

27th German Cancer Congress Berlin 2006

German Cancer Society (Frankfurt/M.)

22. - 26.03.2006, Berlin

Darbepoetin alfa as primary prophylaxis of anaemia in breast cancer patients treated preoperatively with Docetaxel, Doxorubicin, Cyclophosphamide

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author presenting/speaker Friederike Marquardt - Universitätsklinikum, Frankfurt am Main, Deutschland
  • Sibylle Loibl - Universitätsklinikum, Frankfurt am Main
  • Gunter von Minckwitz - Universitätsklinikum, Frankfurt am Main
  • Manfred Kaufmann - Universitätsklinikum, Frankfurt am Main

27. Deutscher Krebskongress. Berlin, 22.-26.03.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. DocPO033

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: March 20, 2006

© 2006 Marquardt et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Docetaxel, Adriamycin, Cyclophosphamide (TAC) is considered today as one treatment option for patients with node-positive primary breast cancer. However, treatment is associated with anaemia grade 1-4 (2-4) in up to 95% (36%) of patients. We prospectively investigated the use of a primary prophylaxis with Darbepoetin alfa once every 3 weeks in 35 patients receiving six to eight cycles of TAC as neoadjuvant treatment for breast cancer. Darbepoetin treatment started on day 1 of a TAC cycle if haemoglobin (Hb) was ≤ 14.0 g/dl. Dosage was adapted to 9 µg/kg if Hb was ≤ 13.0 g/dl on day 21 of the previous cycle, to 4.5 µg/kg if Hb was between 13.0 and 14.0 g/dl and was discontinued if Hb increased to ≥ 14 g/dl. The primary aim was to prevent Hb levels ≤ 12 g/dl before surgery. During 112 (50.2%) and 93 (41.7%) of 223 cycles, 4.5 µg/kg and 9 µg/kg Darbepoetin were given, respectively. Dosage was decreased from 9 to 4.5 µg/kg in 21 (60%) patients and 28 (12.4%) cycles. Treatment was discontinued due to Hb > 14.0 g/dl in 12 (34.3%) patients and 13 (5.4%) cycles. Hb level on day 21 of the last cycle was ≤ 12.0 g/dl in 4 (11.4%) patients. Eighteen (51.4%) patients during 36 (16.1%) cycles showed Hb levels ≤ 12 g/dl throughout treatment. No NCI-CTC grade 2 to 4 anaemia was observed. Symptoms of fatigue (FACT-AN) decreased slightly throughout treatment. Anaemia during TAC chemotherapy can be avoided by a single injection of Darbepoetin alfa every 3 weeks.