Erythropoietin (EPO) for Lymphoma | MyLymphomaTeam

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Erythropoietin is a hormone that stimulates red blood cell production in the bone marrow. Erythropoietin is secreted by the kidneys.

Anemia (low levels of red blood cells) is common in people with lymphoma and other types of blood cancer. Anemia can be caused either by cancer itself or as a side effect of treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Anemia makes it difficult for the blood to supply the tissues with sufficient oxygen. Symptoms of anemia include fatigue, weakness, dizziness, and shortness of breath.

Synthetic erythropoietin – called epoetin alfa or EPO – is one treatment for anemia in people with lymphoma. EPO works by stimulating the bone marrow to produce more red blood cells. In some people with lymphoma and anemia, the use of EPO may reduce the need for blood transfusions.

EPO is sold under brand names including Aranesp, Epogen, Procrit, and Retacrit.

How do I take it?
EPO is administered as a subcutaneous or intravenous injection.

Side effects
Common side effects of EPO include flu-like symptoms, rash, and increased blood pressure.

Rare but serious side effects of EPO include an increased risk of developing dangerous blood clots.

For more details about this treatment, visit:

Anaemia – Lymphoma Action

Erythropoietin – Macmillan Cancer Support

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