Aim: We investigated the role of erythropoietin (EPO) in reducing anemia and preventing the development of psychological distress in patients treated with chemotherapy. Patients & methods: This prospective observational study enrolled 591 adult patients receiving EPO at a dose of 30,000 IU administered once weekly for chemotherapy-induced anemia (mean baseline hemoglobin [Hb] level was 9.55 g/dl) over a 12-month period. Results: The majority of patients (371 [71%] patients) achieved a Hb increase >2 g/dl after 4 weeks of treatment. Interestingly, the nonresponder group had a statistically significant deterioration of their psychological conditions as indicated by psychological distress score (p = 0.01). However, within the group of responders to EPO, the Psychological Distress Inventory score remained unchanged. In the present study, severe side effects associated with EPO were not recorded. Conclusion: Hb increase, induced by EPO, ameliorates the psychological conditions of cancer patients.