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Should hemophilia treaters switch to albumin-free recombinant factor VIII concentrates

Meeks, Shannon La; Josephson, Cassandra Db

doi: 10.1097/01.moh.0000245686.01591.f0
Transfusion medicine

Purpose of review To discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the albumin-free recombinant factor VIII concentrates in the treatment of hemophilia A.

Recent findings The third-generation recombinant factor VIII product Advate has been found to be safe and effective in treating bleeding associated with hemophilia A.

Summary Multiple issues must be considered when selecting a factor VIII concentrate for patients with hemophilia A including efficacy, availability, risk of transmission of infectious agents, risk of inhibitor development and cost. Third-generation recombinant factor VIII concentrates have been shown to be safe and effective. A theoretical improvement in risk of infectious agent transmission has been achieved by production of the products without human or animal plasma proteins. Controversy exists, however, with regard to a higher risk of inhibitor development with recombinant products. The higher cost of Advate can also potentially play a role in product choice. Overall every patient and their family must be presented with the advantages and disadvantages of all factor VIII concentrates, and be allowed to make an informed decision about which product to use for treatment.

aAflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service, Emory University/Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, USA

bPathology and Laboratory Medicine and Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Blood Banks and Transfusion Services, Atlanta, USA

Correspondence to Shannon L. Meeks MD, 2015 Uppergate Drive, 4th Floor, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA Tel: +1 404 785 0908; fax: +1 404 727 4455; e-mail:

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.