Lack of benefit of granulocyte macrophage or granulocyte colony stimulating factor in patients with febrile neutropenia

T. Siddiqui, I. A. Burney, G. N. Kakepoto, M. Khurshid, A. Salam, R. A. Smego

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To compare the clinical benefits of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) or granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) plus standard supportive care to supportive care alone among cancer patients with febrile neutropenia. Methods: Clinical data were collected retrospectively from 148 consecutive cancer patients with neutropenia and fever. Patients had hematologic (i.e., acute leukemias or lymphoproliferative disorders) or non-hematologic malignancies (i.e., solid tumors including carcinoma of breast, lung, or colon). Clinical variables analyzed included: age and sex; underlying malignancies; chemotherapy regimens; symptoms at time of presentation; duration of fever prior to study enrollment; days from chemotherapy until administration of GM-CSF or G-CSF; number of previous neutropenic episodes; duration of fever and day of defervescence; absolute neutrophil count on day of defervescence; duration of neutropenia; number and types of antibiotics used; day amphotericin B begun; number of culture-documented infective episodes involving bloodstream, lung, pleura, urinary tract, gastrointestinal tract, intravenous cannulae, or skin; types of antimicrobial isolates; cost of cytokine therapy; length of hospital stay and clinical outcome. Results: The use of myeloid growth factors increased the number of circulating peripheral white blood cells, but no significant effect was noted in terms of duration of neutropenia or fever, number of culture-proven infections (except pneumonia; p < 0.04), length of hospital stay, or survival. Conclusion: In areas with limited health care resources, expensive treatment with GM-CSF or G-CSF should be reserved for patients with complicated febrile neutropenia where the expected risk of infection is high and the duration of neutropenia is prolonged, or those with documented infections that are refractory to antibiotic treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-210
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Pakistan Medical Association
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2002
Externally publishedYes


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