Granulocyte colony-stimulating factors: finding the right indication.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Neutropenic complications including febrile neutropenia represent major dose-limiting toxicities of cancer chemotherapy. Recommendations for the use of recombinant myeloid growth factors to reduce the risk of neutropenic complications and sustain dose intensity continue to evolve. RECENT FINDINGS: Several randomized controlled trials and meta-analyses have confirmed that the myeloid growth factors reduce the risk of neutropenic complications and may facilitate delivered dose intensity in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy. Older age and certain comorbidities significantly increase the risk of febrile neutropenia and its consequences. Three new clinical practice guidelines for the use of the myeloid growth factors have been published by major professional oncology organizations including the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. The recommendations and evidence basis for these guidelines are presented here. All three new or updated guidelines recommend prophylactic use of the myeloid growth factors in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy at 20% or greater risk of febrile neutropenia and in those with important variables that increase individual risk of neutropenic complications. SUMMARY: Consistent clinical practice guidelines based on multiple randomized control trials and meta-analyses should further guide the appropriate and cost-effective use of these agents.
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