Objective: To determine the most effective, evidence-based approach to the use of platelet transfusions in patients with cancer.
Outcomes: Outcomes of interest included prevention of morbidity and mortality from hemorrhage, effects on survival, quality of life, toxicity reduction, and cost-effectiveness.
Evidence: A complete MEDLINE search was performed of the past 20 years of the medical literature. Keywords included platelet transfusion, alloimmunization, hemorrhage, threshold and thrombocytopenia.The search was broadened by articles from the bibliographies of selected articles.
Values: Levels of evidence and guideline grades were rated by a standard process. More weight was given to studies that tested a hypothesis directly related to one of the primary outcomes in a randomized design.
Benefits, Harms, and Costs: The possible consequences of different approaches to the use of platelet transfusion were considered in evaluating a preference for one or another technique producing similar outcomes. Cost alone was not a determining factor.
Recommendations: Appendix A summarizes the recommendations concerning the choice of particular platelet preparations, the use of prophylactic platelet transfusions, indications for transfusion in selected clinical situations, and the diagnosis, prevention, and management of refractoriness to platelet transfusion.
Validation: Five outside reviewers, the ASCO Health Services Research Committee, and the ASCO Board reviewed this document.
Sponsor: American Society of Clinical Oncology
ASCO’s practice guidelines reflect expert consensus based on clinical evidence and literature available at the time they are written and are intended to assist physicians in clinical decision-making and identify questions and settings for further research. Due to the rapid flow of scientific information in oncology, new evidence may have emerged since the time a guideline was submitted for publication. Guidelines are not continually updated and may not reflect the most recent evidence. Guidelines address only the topics specifically identified in the guideline and are not applicable to interventions, diseases or stages of disease not specifically identified. Guidelines cannot account for individual variation among patients and cannot be considered inclusive of all proper methods of care or exclusive of other treatments. It is the responsibility of the treating physician or other health care provider, relying on independent experience and knowledge of the patient, to determine the best course of treatment for the patient. Accordingly, adherence to any guideline is voluntary, with the ultimate determination regarding its application to be made by the physician in light of each patient's individual circumstances and preferences. ASCO guidelines describe the use of procedures and therapies in clinical practice and cannot be assumed to apply to the use of these interventions in the context of clinical trials. ASCO assumes no responsibility for any injury or damage to persons or property arising out of or related to any use of ASCO's guidelines, or for any errors or omissions.