Conventional treatment with epoetin (a synthetic form of human erythropoietin that promotes red-blood cell production) to manage anaemia in chronic kidney disease needs frequent administrations (at least weekly), changes of dose, and close monitoring of haemoglobin concentrations.
Dr Nathan Levin, Renal Research Institute, New York, USA, and colleagues compared the effectiveness of a long-acting erythropoieses-stimulating agent variant of epoetin (methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta), given intravenously at 2-week or 4-week intervals, with epoetin treatment one to three times per week for haemoglobin control in haemodialysis patients. The study was designed so that all patients (673 in total, from North America and Europe) received conventional epoetin treatment initially; after four weeks a third of individuals were given methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta every two weeks, another third given methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta every four weeks, with the remaining third continuing to receive conventional epoetin treatment throughout the trial..
Haemoglobin concentrations were recorded at baseline, throughout the study, and at a final assessment which took place around a mean of 42 weeks after baseline. The main result of the study showed how individuals given methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta either fortnightly or every four weeks had no statistically significant change in haemoglobin concentrations compared with those who remained on mainly a three-times-a-week regimen of epoetin treatment throughout the study. Adverse outcomes were minimal and similar between the epoetin and methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta treatment arms.
Dr Levin comments: “Errors with medication occur at an unacceptably high rate of 45%. Extrapolation to about 246000 haemodialysis patients in the USA suggests that 111000 dose errors could happen every month. Treatment with methoxy poly-ethylene glycol-epoetin beta every 4 weeks would need only 13 doses per year, compared with 52–156 doses with conventional epoetin, and would therefore allow fewer opportunities for error. Since our findings show that haemoglobin can be controlled in all dialysis patients with methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta given every 4 weeks, we advise that this drug should be introduced as an option to epoetin for simplified anaemia management.”
In an accompanying Comment, Dr Rowan Walker, Royal Melbourne Hospital and Monash University Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia, and Dr Giovanni Strippoli, University of Sydney, Australia, and Mario Negri Sud Consortium, Chieti, Italy, say: “Before we can concur on a precise clinical role for this molecule, we need to explore issues other than simply the non-inferiority with other epoetins to reach certain unvalidated surrogates. Different does and molecular characteristics of epoetins may affect patient-level endpoints, independent of achieved haemoglobin. When these issues are examined, we might be truly confident that a newer molecule is non-inferior to existing ones.”
Tony Kirby | alfa
New study points the way to therapy for rare cancer that targets the young
22.11.2017 | Rockefeller University
Penn study identifies new malaria parasites in wild bonobos
21.11.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
22.11.2017 | Life Sciences
22.11.2017 | Life Sciences
22.11.2017 | Materials Sciences