A prospective, randomized, doubleblind study was designed to determine the effectiveness and toxicity of nandrolone phenpropionate in the treatment of anemias due to bone marrow failure. Twentyfour patients were initially entered; 21 now may be evaluated: seven with aplastic anemia, six with myelofibrosis, and eight with refractory anemia. Six patients improved, but only three were taking nandrolone, the other three placebo. Response did not correlate with type of anemia. No serious drug toxicity was noted. One patient with myelofibrosis improved dramatically with placebo therapy alone, no longer requiring frequent transfusions because of a hemoglobin level increase from 5.4 to 15.8 gm/100 ml. We conclude that no substantial improvement of anemia due to marrow failure can be ascribed to nandrolone as given, and that clinical trials in these conditions should be controlled to exclude spontaneous remissions as a cause of apparent improvement.
(Arch Intern Med 137:65-69, 1977)