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Oncology & Supportive Therapy



Aranesp is a medicine to treat anemia. Anemia is when your blood does not contain enough red blood cells and the symptoms may be fatigue, weakness and shortness of breath. Aranesp is used to treat symptomatic anemia that is associated with chronic renal failure (kidney failure) in adults and children. Aranesp is also used to treat symptomatic anemia in adult cancer patients with non-myeloid malignancies who are receiving chemotherapy.

Aranesp is a medicine which contains the active substance darbepoetin alfa, a product to treat anemia. Anemia is when your blood does not contain enough red blood cells and the symptoms may be fatigue, weakness and shortness of breath.

Aranesp works in exactly the same way as the natural hormone erythropoietin.Erythropoietin is produced in your kidneys and encourages your bone marrow to produce more red blood cells. The active substance of Aranesp is darbepoetin alfa produced by gene-technology in Chinese Hamster Ovary Cells (CHO-K1).

If you have chronic renal failure

Aranesp is used to treat symptomatic anemia that is associated with chronic renal failure (kidney failure) in adults and children. In kidney failure, the kidney does not produce enough of the natural hormone erythropoietin which can often cause anemia.

Because it will take your body some time to make more red blood cells, it will be about four weeks before you notice any effect.Your normal dialysis routine will not affect the ability of Aranesp to treat your anemia.

If you are receiving chemotherapy

Aranesp is used to treat symptomatic anemia in adult cancer patients with non-bone marrow cancers (non-myeloid malignancies) who are receiving chemotherapy. One of the main side effects of chemotherapy is that it stops the bone marrow producing enough blood cells.

Towards the end of your chemotherapy course, particularly if you have had a lot of chemotherapy, your red blood cell count may fall making you anemic.

Neulasta is used to reduce the duration of neutropenia (low white blood cell count) and the occurrence of febrile neutropenia (low white blood cell count with a fever) which can be caused by the use of cytotoxic chemotherapy (medicines that destroy rapidly growing cells). White blood cells are important as they help your body fight infection. These cells are very sensitive to the effects of chemotherapy which can cause the number of these cells in your body to decrease.

Neulasta contains the active substance pegfilgrastim. Pegfilgrastim is a protein produced by biotechnology in bacteria called E. coli. It belongs to a group of proteins called cytokines, and is very similar to a natural protein (granulocyte-colony stimulating factor) produced by your own body.

Neulasta is used to reduce the duration of neutropenia (low white blood cell count) and the occurrence of febrile neutropenia (low white blood cell count with a fever) which can be caused by the use of cytotoxic chemotherapy.

White blood cells are important as they help your body fight infection. These cells are very sensitive to the effects of chemotherapy which can cause the number of these cells in your body to decrease.

If white blood cells fall to a low level there may not be enough left in the body to fight bacteria and you may have an increased risk of infection.Your doctor has given you Neulasta to encourage your bone marrow (part of the bone which makes blood cells) to produce more white blood cells that help your body fight infection.

Neupogen stimulates the bone marrow to produce more white cells, e.g. after chemotherapy or a bone marrow transplant.

A reduction in the number of white blood cells (neutropenia) can occur for several reasons and makes your body less able to fight infection.

Neupogen is a white blood cell growth factor (granulocyte colony stimulating factor) and belong to a group of medicines called cytokines. Growth factors are proteins that are produced naturally in the body but they can also be made in a laboratory for use as a medicine. Neupogen works by encouraging the bone marrow to produce more white blood cells, e.g. after chemotherapy or a bone marrow transplant.

A reduction in the number of white blood cells (neutropenia) can occur for several reasons and makes your body less able to fight infection.

Neupogen stimulates the bone marrow to produce new white cells quickly.

Neupogen can be used:

  • to increase the number of white blood cells after treatment with chemotherapy to help prevent infections;
  • to increase the number of white blood cells after a bone marrow transplant to help prevent infections;
  • before high-dose chemotherapy to make the bone marrow produce more stem cells which can be collected and given back to you after your treatment. These can be taken from you or from a donor. The stem cells will then go back into the bone marrow and produce blood cells;
  • to increase the number of white blood cells if you suffer from severe chronic neutropenia to help prevent infections;
  • in patients with advanced HIV infection which will help reduce the risk of infections.
XGEVA is used in adults with advanced cancer to prevent serious complications caused by bone metastasis (e.g. fracture, pressure on the spinal cord or the need to receive radiation therapy or surgery).

XGEVA is used in adults with advanced cancer to prevent serious complications caused by bone metastasis (e.g. fracture, pressure on the spinal cord or the need to receive radiation therapy or surgery).

XGEVA is used in adults with advanced cancer to prevent serious complications caused by bone metastasis (e.g. fracture, pressure on the spinal cord or the need to receive radiation therapy or surgery).

XGEVA is also used to treat giant cell tumor of bone, which cannot be treated by surgery or where surgery is not the best option, in adults and adolescents whose bones have stopped growing.


Source: Patient information leaflets, Amgen. See www.ema.europa.eu for the most up-to-date versions.