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This positive study demonstrated that epoetin patients did better than no epoetin control patients in a relapsed lymphoma, autologous stem cell transplant setting. Epoetin has been shown not to be very effective in the high dose chemotherapy stem cell transplant setting when given only at the time of transplant and high dose chemorx. As demonstrated by Fox et al., however, if the epoetin is given prior to the high dose chemorx by at least a few weeks to get the Hb at least above 11 g/dL, then the need for transfusion dramatically falls off after the high dose chemorx, probably because red cells live so long. This article adds confirmation support to this data of pretreating with epoetin by at least weeks before the high dose chemorx is given.

– David H. Henry