Recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) has become the standard therapy for treatment of the anaemia of chronic kidney disease (CKD) during the past two decades. In addition, rHuEPO can be indicated for the treatment of cancer patients on chemotherapy and surgical patients to avoid allogeneic red blood cell transfusion. This review first describes recent attempts in developing rHuEPO congeners (mutated and pegylated rHuEPOs) and mimetics with prolonged half-lives and improved application requirements. Secondly, the pathophysiological background of the regulatory guideline, that blood haemoglobin levels in anaemic CKD or cancer patients on chemotherapy should not be raised above the target value of 120 g/l, is discussed. Finally, potential novel indications are considered for the use of rHuEPO and its analogues as pleiotropic cytoprotectant agents for cardio-, nephro-, hepato- and neuroprotection.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)