Anemia is common among patients with cancer receiving chemotherapy (CT) and/or radiotherapy (RT) and may limit cancer treatment, clinical outcomes, and overall patient quality of life (QOL). In the United States, epoetin alfa and darbepoetin alfa are approved for the treatment of CT-induced anemia in patients with nonmyeloid malignancies. Goals of treatment are to reduce transfusions, increase hemoglobin (Hb) levels, and improve overall QOL. Results from ongoing head-to-head trials comparing these agents will allow for direct comparisons of Hb response profiles and overall QOL effects. To optimize patient benefits from erythropoietic therapy, new doses and schedules of these agents are being studied. Data from investigations of the use of a higher weekly starting dose ("front-loading") followed by maintenance dosing on a less frequent schedule (when Hb has increased to a specified level or by a specified amount after the higher initial starting dose) suggest that both agents can increase and subsequently maintain Hb levels on such schedules. This approach may lead to benefits for patients and healthcare providers, such as earlier increases in Hb and earlier identification of nonresponders. Consequently, evolving strategies with erythropoietic agents should ultimately improve overall QOL in anemic cancer patients receiving CT.