A previous dose-finding study has suggested that romiplostim is effective in patients with refractory aplastic anaemia (AA) and 10 µg/kg once weekly was recommended as a starting dose. In this Phase II/III, multicentre, open-label study, romiplostim was administered subcutaneously at a fixed dose of 10 µg/kg once weekly for 4 weeks (weeks 1–4) followed by weekly doses (5, 10, 15 and 20 µg/kg) titrated by platelet response for up to 52 weeks (weeks 5–52). A total of 31 patients with AA who were refractory to immunosuppressive therapy (IST) and thrombocytopenia (platelet count of ≤30 × 109/l) were enrolled. The primary efficacy endpoint of the proportion of patients achieving any haematological (platelet, neutrophil and erythrocyte) response at week 27 was 84% [95% confidence interval (CI) 66–95%]. Trilineage response was 39% (95% CI 22–58%) at week 53. The most common treatment-related adverse events (AEs) were headache and muscle spasms (each 13%). All AEs were mild or moderate except for three patients with Grade 3 hepatic AEs; no AEs necessitated romiplostim discontinuation. Two patients developed cytogenetic abnormalities, of whom one returned to normal karyotype at last follow-up. High-dose romiplostim is effective and well tolerated in the treatment of patients with AA refractory to IST.
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