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New red blood building drug?

Home Demo forums Patient Message Board New red blood building drug?

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    Happy New Year to one and all! May 2005 be better than 2004!!

    I was talking to a friend today who has lung cancer. He told me about a new drug he is getting to increase his RBC. It is called Aranesp (I think that is how it is spelled). It is a new drug. He said he gets a shot once every two weeks and the results are faster than Procrit.

    Has anyone had this drug for MDS? I plan on asking my Dr. about it this week and will let you all know what he says.


    Aranesp is similar to Procrit. Believe the effect is over a longer period of time. Dont need shots as frequently. Much depends upon the patient. Discussed it with my doc and we decided to try Procrit first. If it did not work would then try Aranesp. He indicated there is a large cost differential between the two.
    Go to for more info. Even more if you type Aranesp into a Google search engine.

    Kathy G

    My Dad has been getting Aransep shots every 2 weeks for a couple of months now and it seems to be helping him some. It is so hard to tell some days he has more energy than others. It is an expensive drug but it had brought his RBC up.


    Hi All, I don’t want to be a downer, but the information sheet for Aranesp say”For cancer patients with cemotherapy induced anemia.Aranesp is prescribed to treat chemotherapy induced anemia in patients with NONMYELOID malignancies.” It is also says that it is lasts three times longer in your body, than Procrit. I am only guessing, but if someone doesn’t have secondary MDS, that person probably shouldn’t get Procrit or Aranesp. Regardles, George doctor tried both with negative result.Kate
    Hi Neil, Could you explain what is Nonmyeloid malignancy?Thank you Kate


    Hi Neil, I should have known.Those are, not related to the bone marrow.More imput? Thank you. Kate


    Hi Kate,
    Procrit and Aranesp were developed to help build red cells in chemo patients. Since it builds red cells it is also used on MDS patients in an attempt to build cells in them.
    Briefly— nonmyeloid malignancy would be a cancer not involving the bone marrowNeil


    I was dx’d May 2003 with myelofibrosis. I became transfusion dependent. After a few false starts with other drugs my Doc put me on Trisenox and aranesp. Worked for a while, felt fine off the trans fusions HGB up to 11.9 great energy levels.Of late things are starting to reverse and counts are going down but still feel reasonably good. I play golf once a week.The addition of Neupogen does not seem to help WBC. I will see doc. in one week and discuss this with him.


    I was on aranesp after I had a SCT. Doctor said that I no longer had CMML and needed to start building new cells asap. I got it once a month for 3 or 4 months. Jim


    Hey Neil
    About procrit. I had a erthropoeiten level drawn and my counts were sky high……..meaning that my kidneys are pumping it out, but my bone marrow is not responding therefore I am not a canidate for procrit (synthetic form of erthropoeiten). Was wondering if this Arenasp is one of the same (synthetic form of erthropoeitne)?


    Hi Pam
    They are the same, but the differences are subtle.
    Aranesp is Darbepoetin Alfa, described as an erythropoietic protein. it is a 165 amino acid, where Procrit is a synthetic erythropoietin, a 165 amino acid glycoprotein.
    Aranesp was developed for anemia induced by kidney disease.
    It may just work where Procit failed. it lasts longer than Procrit. Those with kidney disease generally get it once a month. Have heard where some with MDS get it 2 or more times a month.
    How about your iron levels. If iron is low an iron supplement may help. Procrit needs iron to function.


    I have confirmed that this is what my mom is receiving – once every 2 weeks. A # of $4100/per injection was mentioned … but we haven’t seen any paperwork as of yet. We are very lucky – my mom’s numbers are very good and slight improvements have been steady. She has RA with “q 5-” – or however you say that – abnormality of the 5th chromosome …. which under this classification is actually a GOOD thing. Her Hgb and Hct are really the only thing we are focusing on – for now. Her Hgb was 10.6 and came up to 10.7 in the first 2 weeks. Haven’t heard about that # since. Her Hct was 31.8 (not very low) and came up in 2 wks to 32.4 and was 33 at the time of the 3rd injection on Dec 30. As I said – for now we are lucky and improvement is steady and evident.


    Fantastic news! As long as these various treatments work for some people , they are worth trying. Because you might be in the improvement category. I certainly have been. Suzanne

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