Hematologic toxicities of cancer chemotherapy are common and often limit the ability to provide treatment in a timely and dose-intensive manner. These limitations may be of utmost importance in the adjuvant and curative intent settings. Hematologic toxicities may result in febrile neutropenia, infections, fatigue, and bleeding, all of which may lead to additional complications and prolonged hospitalization. The older cancer patient and patients with significant comorbidities may be at highest risk of neutropenic complications. Colony-stimulating factors (csfs) such as filgrastim and pegfilgrastim can effectively attenuate most of the neutropenic consequences of chemotherapy, improve the ability to continue chemotherapy on the planned schedule, and minimize the risk of febrile neutropenia and infectious morbidity and mortality. The present consensus statement reviews the use of csfs in the management of neutropenia in patients with cancer and sets out specific recommendations based on published international guidelines tailored to the specifics of the Canadian practice landscape. We review existing international guidelines, the indications for primary and secondary prophylaxis, the importance of maintaining dose intensity, and the use of csfs in leukemia, stem-cell transplantation, and radiotherapy. Specific disease-related recommendations are provided related to breast cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, lung cancer, and gastrointestinal cancer. Finally, csf dosing and schedules, duration of therapy, and associated acute and potential chronic toxicities are examined.
Canadian recommendations; neutropenia; febrile neutropenia; supportive care; colony-stimulating factors; chemotherapy-induced neutropenia; safety
Thirty-four evaluable patients were treated with vinorelbine, a novel, semisynthetic vinca alkaloid, as first-line chemotherapy for advanced breast cancer. They received vinorelbine 25 mg m-2 i.v. given weekly for a maximum of 16 cycles. Two patients achieved a complete remission and 15 a partial remission, giving a response rate of 17/34 (50%; 95% CI of 34-66%); median response duration was 5.8 months. The median progression-free interval was 4.4 months and median survival 9.9 months. Treatment was generally well tolerated. Fatigue was the most common side-effect. The main reason for dose adjustments was myelosuppression; 68% of patients had WHO grade 3 or 4 neutropenia and there was one death attributed to neutropenic sepsis. Nausea/vomiting and neuropathy were mild and alopecia was uncommon. This study confirms vinorelbine as a highly active, well-tolerated agent in advanced breast cancer worthy of evaluation in combination chemotherapy regimens.
We report an extremely rare and complex case of a 44-year-old woman diagnosed with an early stage triple negative breast cancer in the setting of primary autoimmune neutropenia with a pre-existing severe neutropenia. This case-report demonstrates that adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer can be administered in a patient with severe neutropenia. The management is however complicated and requires careful monitoring of side-effects related to both chemotherapy and treatment of autoimmune neutropenia. The role of chemotherapy in the treatment of triple negative breast cancer, the approach to autoimmune neutropenia and potential interactions are reviewed. To our knowledge, this is the first case reporting on the use of chemotherapy in a patient with severe pre-existing primary autoimmune neutropenia.
breast cancer; autoimmune neutropenia; chemotherapy
We evaluated risk factors for neutropenic fever and febrile prolonged neutropenia during vincristine-including chemotherapy to treat HIV-related lymphoma to investigate whether protease inhibitor (PI) treatment is associated with infectious complications due to drug interactions with chemotherapeutic agents. We included all HIV patients who received chemotherapy including vincristine for lymphoma at a single referral center in 1999-2010. Neutropenic fever was defined as absolute neutrophil count < 500 cells/µL with body temperature over 38℃; and prolonged neutropenia was defined if it persisted over 7 days. CODOX-M/IVAC and Stanford regimens were considered high-risk regimens for prolonged neutropenia. We analyzed 48 cycles of chemotherapy in 17 HIV patients with lymphoma. There were 22 neutropenic fever and 12 febrile prolonged neutropenia events. In multivariate analysis, neutropenic fever was associated with old age and low CD4 cell count, but not with PI use or ritonavir-boosted PI use. Low CD4 cell count and high-risk regimens were associated with febrile prolonged neutropenia. Neutropenic fever and febrile prolonged neutropenia is associated with old age, low CD4 cell count, and high-risk regimens, but not PI use, in HIV patients undergoing chemotherapy including vincristine for lymphoma.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus; Lymphoma; Neutropenia
Breast cancer is the most frequent neoplasm affecting women worldwide. Some of the recommended treatments involve chemotherapy whose toxic effects include leukopenia and neutropenia. This study assessed the effectiveness of Uncaria tomentosa (Ut) in reducing the adverse effects of chemotherapy through a randomized clinical trial. Patients with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma—Stage II, who underwent a treatment regimen known as FAC (Fluorouracil, Doxorubicin, Cyclophosphamide), were divided into two groups: the UtCa received chemotherapy plus 300 mg dry Ut extract per day and the Ca group that only received chemotherapy and served as the control experiment. Blood samples were collected before each one of the six chemotherapy cycles and blood counts, immunological parameters, antioxidant enzymes, and oxidative stress were analyzed. Uncaria tomentosa reduced the neutropenia caused by chemotherapy and was also able to restore cellular DNA damage. We concluded that Ut is an effective adjuvant treatment for breast cancer.
Myelosuppressive chemotherapy can lead to dose-limiting febrile neutropenia. Prophylactic use of recombinant human G-CSF such as daily filgrastim and once-per-cycle pegfilgrastim may reduce the incidence of febrile neutropenia. This comparative study examined the effect of pegfilgrastim versus daily filgrastim on the risk of hospitalization.
This retrospective United States claims analysis utilized 2004–2009 data for filgrastim- and pegfilgrastim-treated patients receiving chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) or breast, lung, ovarian, or colorectal cancers. Cycles in which pegfilgrastim or filgrastim was administered within 5 days from initiation of chemotherapy (considered to represent prophylaxis) were pooled for analysis. Neutropenia-related hospitalization and other healthcare encounters were defined with a “narrow” criterion for claims with an ICD-9 code for neutropenia and with a “broad” criterion for claims with an ICD-9 code for neutropenia, fever, or infection. Odds ratios (OR) for hospitalization and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated by generalized estimating equation (GEE) models and adjusted for patient, tumor, and treatment characteristics. Per-cycle healthcare utilization and costs were examined for cycles with pegfilgrastim or filgrastim prophylaxis.
We identified 3,535 patients receiving G-CSF prophylaxis, representing 12,056 chemotherapy cycles (11,683 pegfilgrastim, 373 filgrastim). The mean duration of filgrastim prophylaxis in the sample was 4.8 days. The mean duration of pegfilgrastim prophylaxis in the sample was 1.0 day, consistent with the recommended dosage of pegfilgrastim - a single injection once per chemotherapy cycle. Cycles with prophylactic pegfilgrastim were associated with a decreased risk of neutropenia-related hospitalization (narrow definition: OR = 0.43, 95% CI: 0.16–1.13; broad definition: OR = 0.38, 95% CI: 0.24–0.59) and all-cause hospitalization (OR = 0.50, 95% CI: 0.35–0.72) versus cycles with prophylactic filgrastim. For neutropenia-related utilization by setting of care, there were more ambulatory visits and hospitalizations per cycle associated with filgrastim prophylaxis than with pegfilgrastim prophylaxis. Mean per-cycle neutropenia-related costs were also higher with prophylactic filgrastim than with prophylactic pegfilgrastim.
In this comparative effectiveness study, pegfilgrastim prophylaxis was associated with a reduced risk of neutropenia-related or all-cause hospitalization relative to filgrastim prophylaxis.
Myelosuppression, particularly febrile neutropenia (FN), are serious dose-limiting toxicities that occur frequently during the first cycle of chemotherapy. Identifying patients most at risk of developing FN might help physicians to target prophylactic treatment with colony-stimulating factor (CSF), in order to decrease the incidence, or duration, of myelosuppression and facilitate delivery of chemotherapy as planned. We present a risk model for FN occurrence in the first cycle of chemotherapy, based on a subgroup of 240 patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) enroled in our European prospective observational study. Eligible patients had an International Prognostic Index of 0–3, and were scheduled to receive a new myelosuppressive chemotherapy regimen with at least four cycles. Clinically relevant factors significantly associated with cycle 1 FN were older age, increasing planned cyclophosphamide dose, a history of previous chemotherapy, a history of recent infection, and low baseline albumin (<35 g/l). Prophylactic CSF use and higher weight were associated with a significant protective effect. The model had high sensitivity (81%) and specificity (80%). Our model, together with treatment guidelines, may rationalise the clinical decision of whether to support patients with CSF primary prophylaxis based on their risk factor profile. Further validation is required.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma; neutropenia; chemotherapy; risk factors
There is good evidence to suggest that dose intensity is important when considering the effectiveness of adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with breast cancer. However, the development of chemotherapy-induced febrile neutropenia can lead to reduction in dose intensity and other treatment modifications, which may negatively affect patient outcomes. Febrile neutropenia can be prevented by the use of primary prophylactic treatment, notably with granulocyte colony-stimulating factors. This practice is supported by international guidelines, all of which recommend that primary prophylaxis with granulocyte colony-stimulating factors should be used with chemotherapy where the risk of febrile neutropenia is 20% or greater.
dose intensity; febrile neutropenia; G-CSF; guidelines; prophylaxis
LÓPEZ-POUSA A., RIFÀ J., CASAS DE TEJERINA A., GONZÁLEZ-LARRIBA J.L., IGLESIAS C., GASQUET J.A. & CARRATO A. (2010) European Journal of Cancer Care Risk assessment model for first-cycle chemotherapy-induced neutropenia in patients with solid tumours
Chemotherapy-induced neutropenia, the major dose-limiting toxicity of chemotherapy, is directly associated with concomitant morbidity, mortality and health-care costs. The use of prophylactic granulocyte colony-stimulating factors may reduce the incidence and duration of chemotherapy-induced neutropenia, and is recommended in high-risk patients. The objective of this study was to develop a model to predict first-cycle chemotherapy-induced neutropenia (defined as neutropenia grade ≥3, with or without body temperature ≥38°C) in patients with solid tumours. A total of 1194 patients [56% women; mean age 58 ± 12 years; 94% Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) status ≤1] with solid tumours were included in a multi-centre non-interventional prospective cohort study. A predictive logistic regression model was developed. Several factors were found to influence chemotherapy-induced neutropenia. Higher ECOG status values increased toxicity (ECOG 2 vs. 0, P= 0.003; odds ratio 3.12), whereas baseline lymphocyte (P= 0.011; odds ratio 0.67) and neutrophil counts (P= 0.026; odds ratio 0.90) were inversely related to neutropenia occurrence. Sex and treatment intention also significantly influenced chemotherapy-induced neutropenia (P= 0.012). The sensitivity and specificity of the model were 63% and 67% respectively, and the positive and negative predictive values were 17% and 94% respectively. Once validated, this model should be a useful tool for clinical decision making.
solid tumours; neutropenia; predictive model
The purpose of this retrospective study was to assess the tolerability and efficacy of sequential chemotherapy and radiotherapy for the treatment of high risk endometrial cancer.
We conducted a retrospective study of previously untreated high risk endometrial cancer patients who received sequential chemotherapy and radiotherapy in accordance with the sandwich approach from June 2008 until June 2011. High risk endometrial cancer patients underwent complete surgical staging followed by adjuvant therapy encompassing sequential chemotherapy, radiation therapy and consolidation chemotherapy.
The study analysis comprised 32 endometrial cancer patients. All subjects were treated with carboplatin and paclitaxel chemotherapy; currently, 186 cycles have been administered and 94% of patients have completed the planned number of cycles. Grade 3 neutropenia developed in 1 (3.1%) patient; there was no incidence of grade 4 neutropenia. Moreover, we observed grade 3 anemia in four (12.5%) patients and grade 4 anemia in one (3.1%) patient. One (3.1%) patient developed grade 3 thrombocytopenia; grade 4 thrombocytopenia was not observed. Five patients exhibited progressive disease, three of whom have since expired; mean progression free survival and follow-up were 17.4 months and 18.9 months, respectively.
The preliminary results from our study suggest that the sandwich approach to treating high risk endometrial cancer patients is feasible. Hematologic toxicity was well tolerated and non-hematologic toxicity was mild and easily managed. Further study of this novel regimen in a larger patient population with extended follow-up is necessary.
Chemotherapy; Endometrial cancer; Gynecologic oncology; Radiotherapy
AIMS—To evaluate the
pharmacokinetics of once daily (OD) gentamicin and its effectiveness as
part of an OD regimen for the empirical treatment of febrile
neutropenia in children with cancer.
aged 6 months to 16 years (mean (SD) 5.7 (4) years) with febrile
neutropenia (neutrophil count < 0.5 × 109/l) after chemotherapy.
METHODS—Over one year,
113 febrile neutropenic episodes were treated empirically with an OD
antibiotic regimen of ceftriaxone (80 mg/kg; maximum 4 g) and
gentamicin (7 mg/kg; infused over 60 minutes, no maximum). The
patients were assessed after 48hours.
RESULTS—86 of the 113 episodes settled with the first line antibiotic regimen. In 29 episodes, blood cultures identified a causative bacterial pathogen; for
17 of these, the first line antibiotic regimen was adequate; in four
episodes, although the episode settled, ceftriaxone was replaced by a
more appropriate antibiotic and OD gentamicin was continued; in the
remaining eight episodes, a glycopeptide antibiotic was deemed
necessary. There was no failure of treatment in organisms sensitive to
gentamicin, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In 27 episodes (24%),
resolution was obtained by the empirical introduction of a second line
regimen of ceftazidime and a glycopeptide antibiotic, and/or
amphotericin. Gentamicin concentrations were measured in 110 episodes
and they were all below the 24 hour line indicating that there was no
need to change the dosing interval. In two episodes
(2%), serum creatinine rose transiently by more
than 50% of the baseline concentration. Although there was no
vestibular toxicity, three of 30 children who underwent pure tone
audiometry reported high frequency hearing loss in one ear.
gentamicin can be used safely and effectively to treat febrile
neutropenia in children with cancer. When used for a short period
(< 5 days), in children not receiving other nephrotoxic drugs and who
have normal serum creatinine, serum gentamicin estimations are unnecessary.
Women of African ancestry (AA) have lower WBC counts and are more likely to have treatment delays and discontinue adjuvant breast cancer therapy early compared with white women. We assessed the association between race and treatment discontinuation/delay, WBC counts, and survival in women enrolled onto breast cancer clinical trials.
Patients and Methods
AA and white women from Southwest Oncology Group adjuvant breast cancer trials (S8814/S8897) were matched by age and protocol. Only the treatment arms in which patients were scheduled to receive six cycles of chemotherapy were analyzed.
A total of 317 pairs of patients (n = 634) were analyzed. At baseline, AA women had higher body-surface area (P < .0001) and lower WBC (P = .0009). AA women were more likely to have tumors that were ≥ 2 cm (P = .01) and hormone receptor negative (P < .0001). AA women, versus white women, were marginally more likely to discontinue treatment early (11% v 7%, respectively; P = .07) or have one or more treatment delays (85% v 79%, respectively; P = .07) and were significantly more likely to experience the combined end point (discontinuation/delay; 87% v 81%, respectively; P = .04). The mean relative dose-intensity (RDI) was similar for both groups (87% in AA women v 86% in white women); however, overall, 43% had an RDI of less than 85%. After adjusting for baseline WBC and prognostic factors in a multivariate model, AA women had worse disease-free survival (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.56; 95% CI, 1.15 to 2.11; P = .005) and overall survival (HR = 1.95; 95% CI, 1.36 to 2.78; P = .0002). The inclusion of RDI and treatment delivery/quality in the regression had little impact on the results.
On cooperative group breast cancer trials, AA and white women had similar RDIs, but AA women were more likely to experience early discontinuation or treatment delay. Despite correcting for these factors and known predictors of outcome, AA women still had worse survival.
The use of chemotherapy regimens with moderate or high risk of febrile neutropenia (defined as having a FN incidence of 10% or more) and the respective incidence and clinical management of FN in breast cancer and NHL has not been studied in Belgium. The existence of a medical need for G-CSF primary and secondary prophylaxis with these regimens was investigated in a real-life setting.
Nine oncologists and six hematologists from different Belgian general hospitals and university centers were surveyed to collect expert opinion and real-life data (year 2007) on the use of chemotherapy regimens with moderate or high risk of febrile neutropenia and the clinical management of FN in patients aged <65 years with breast cancer or NHL. Data were retrospectively obtained, over a 6-month observation period.
The most frequently used regimens in breast cancer patients (n = 161) were FEC (45%), FEC-T (37%) and docetaxel alone (6%). In NHL patients (n = 39), R-CHOP-21 (33%) and R-ACVBP-14 (15%) were mainly used. Without G-CSF primary prophylaxis (PP), FN occurred in 31% of breast cancer patients, and 13% had PSN. After G-CSF secondary prophylaxis (SP), 4% experienced further FN events. Only 1 breast cancer patient received PP, and did not experience a severe neutropenic event. Overall, 30% of chemotherapy cycles observed in breast cancer patients were protected by PP/SP. In 10 NHL patients receiving PP, 2 (20%) developed FN, whereas 13 (45%) of the 29 patients without PP developed FN and 3 (10%) PSN. Overall, 55% of chemotherapy cycles observed in NHL patients were protected by PP/SP. Impaired chemotherapy delivery (timing and/or dose) was reported in 40% (breast cancer) and 38% (NHL) of patients developing FN. Based on oncologist expert opinion, hospitalization rates for FN (average length of stay) without and with PP were, respectively, 48% (4.2 days) and 19% (1.5 days). Similar rates were obtained from hematologists.
Despite the studied chemotherapy regimens being known to be associated with a moderate or high risk of FN, upfront G-CSF prophylaxis was rarely used. The observed incidence of severe neutropenic events without G-CSF prophylaxis was higher than generally reported in the literature. The impact on medical resources used is sizeable.
Reductions in the dose intensity (DI) of adjuvant anthracycline-based chemotherapy in early stage breast cancer are frequently required due to treatment toxicity or poor tolerance, but the implications of a minimal reduction in DI on clinical outcome remain uncertain.
Patients and methods:
Women with stage I–II breast cancer treated with adjuvant adriamycin and cyclophosphamide (AC) from 1990–95 were identified in a provincial breast cancer database. Cases were classified into four cohorts: (1) all cycles delivered at full dose and on time; (2) one single dose reduction or dose delay; (3) >1 dose reduction or dose delay; (4) <2 cycles of chemotherapy delivered.
484 eligible cases were identified (cohort (1): n = 268; (2): n= 88; (3): n= 89; (4) n= 39). Slight imbalances in lymph node status (p=0.05) and adjuvant hormonal therapy (p=0.05) were observed between the cohorts. Fifty-five per cent (267/484) of the patients had node-positive disease and 33% (158/484) were ER+. 45% of cases had a reduction in DI. With a median follow-up of 9.6 years, there were no significant differences in relapse-free survival (p=0.94), breast cancer-specific survival (p=0.87) or overall survival (p=0.86) between the four cohorts. Outcomes were independent of hormone receptor status.
Although toxicity related reductions in the DI of adjuvant AC chemotherapy for early stage breast cancer are common, they did not appear to significantly impact on clinical outcomes in this population-based cohort of women with stage I–II breast cancers.
In 2005, 224 patients received adjuvant/neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer in a single institution according to daily practices. Regimens consisted of epirubicin-based chemotherapy (FEC100, four or six cycles), or three cycles of FEC100 followed by three cycles of docetaxel. An absolute blood count was carried out every 3 weeks, 1–3 days before planned chemotherapy cycle. Overall, 1238 cycles were delivered. An absolute neutrophil count (ANC) <1.5 × 109 l−1 before planned chemotherapy was found in 171 cycles. Of these, 130 cycles (76%) were delivered as planned regardless of whether ANC levels recovered, and 41 (24%) were delayed. None of these patients developed a febrile neutropaenia. Haematopoietic support (granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF)) was required in 12 cycles. We found that the majority of patients with an ANC <1.5 × 109 l−1 before planned chemotherapy received planned doses, without complications and need for G-CSF.
breast; chemotherapy; adjuvant; neutropaenia; dose intensity
Fatigue is one of the most common and distressing complaints among cancer patients, not only during radiation and chemotherapy, but also for months to years after the completion of treatment. Fatigue interferes with patients’ daily lives, reduces their quality of life, and is often a significant reason why patients discontinue treatment. We hypothesized that some of the fatigue may be related to disrupted circadian rhythms and low light exposure. The main objective of this study therefore was to investigate the association between fatigue and light exposure among patients with breast cancer.
As part of a larger, ongoing prospective study on fatigue, sleep, and circadian rhythms in patients with breast cancer, an analysis of 63 women newly diagnosed with stage I–IIIA breast cancer and scheduled to receive four cycles of adjuvant or neoadjuvant anthracycline-based chemotherapy was conducted. Data were collected before and during weeks 1, 2, and 3 of cycle 1 and cycle 4. Fatigue was assessed using the Short Form of Multidimensional Fatigue Symptom Inventory. Light exposure was recorded with a wrist actigraph.
There were significant correlations between fatigue levels and light exposure (r=−0.28 to −0.45) within both cycle 1 and cycle 4, such that higher levels of fatigue were associated with less light exposure. There were also significant correlations between changes in light exposure and changes in fatigue within the first 2 weeks of each cycle (r=−0.28 to −0.52).
Increased fatigue was significantly correlated with decreased light exposure among patients with breast cancer. Although the cause and effect of exacerbated fatigue and decreased light exposure cannot be confirmed by the current study, and lower light exposure may just in part be due to the fatigued patients spending less time outdoors in bright light, two hypotheses are proposed about the mechanisms by which light may alleviate the fatigue of patients with breast cancer. These results suggest the need for prospective intervention studies of light therapy for breast-cancer-related fatigue.
Breast cancer; Fatigue; Light; Chemotherapy
Radiation-induced dermatitis is a common side effect of breast irradiation, with hypofractionation being a well-known risk factor. In the context of the widespread adoption of hypofractionated breast radiotherapy, we evaluated the effect of hypofractionated radiotherapy on the incidence of skin toxicity in patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy.
Patients and Methods
We retrospectively reviewed the records of patients with breast cancer treated from 2004 to 2006 at a single institution. Patients undergoing lumpectomy with or without adjuvant chemotherapy followed by hypofractionated radiotherapy consisting of 42.4 Gy in 16 fractions were included in the study. Using cosmetic and skin toxicity scales, all patients were evaluated weekly during treatment and at scheduled follow-up visits with the radiation oncologist.
During the study period, 162 patients underwent radiotherapy, and 30% of those (n = 48) received chemotherapy. Radiotherapy boost to the tumour bed was more common in the chemotherapy group [n = 20 (42%)] than in the radiotherapy-alone group [n = 30 (26%)]. We observed no statistically significant difference between the groups with regard to acute skin toxicity of grade 3 or higher (2.1% in the chemotherapy group vs. 4.4% in the radiation-alone group, p = 0.67) or of grades 1–2 toxicity (62.5% vs. 51.7% respectively, p = 0.23). There was also no significant difference in late grade 3 or higher skin toxicity between the groups (2.1% vs. 0% respectively, p = 0.30) or in grades 1–2 toxicity (20.8% vs. 25.5% respectively, p = 0.69). Similarly, excellent or good cosmetic result scores were similar in both groups (p = 0.80)
In our single-institution review, we observed no adverse effects of chemotherapy in combination with hypofractionated whole-breast irradiation. Further investigations are necessary to better elucidate the effects of chemotherapy on skin toxicity in the context of hypofractionated irradiation.
Breast cancer; hypofractionated radiotherapy; chemotherapy; skin toxicity
Patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) are often neutropenic as a result of their disease. Furthermore, these patients typically experience profound neutropenia following induction and/or consolidation chemotherapy and this may result in serious, potentially life-threatening, infection. This randomized, double-blind, phase 2 clinical trial compared the efficacy and tolerability of pegfilgrastim with filgrastim for assisting neutrophil recovery following induction and consolidation chemotherapy for de novo AML in patients with low-to-intermediate risk cytogenetics.
Patients (n = 84) received one or two courses of standard induction chemotherapy (idarubicin + cytarabine), followed by one course of consolidation therapy (high-dose cytarabine) if complete remission was achieved. They were randomized to receive either single-dose pegfilgrastim 6 mg or daily filgrastim 5 μg/kg, beginning 24 hours after induction and consolidation chemotherapy.
The median time to recovery from severe neutropenia was 22.0 days for both pegfilgrastim (n = 42) and filgrastim (n = 41) groups during Induction 1 (difference 0.0 days; 95% CI: -1.9 to 1.9). During Consolidation, recovery occurred after a median of 17.0 days for pegfilgrastim versus 16.5 days for filgrastim (difference 0.5 days; 95% CI: -1.1 to 2.1). Therapeutic pegfilgrastim serum concentrations were maintained throughout neutropenia. Pegfilgrastim was well tolerated, with an adverse event profile similar to that of filgrastim.
These data suggest no clinically meaningful difference between a single dose of pegfilgrastim and multiple daily doses of filgrastim for shortening the duration of severe neutropenia following chemotherapy in de novo AML patients with low-to-intermediate risk cytogenetics.
Neutropenia is a common toxicity in chemotherapy but detailed information about how neutropenia is associated with changes in patients' quality of life is not readily available. This prospective study interviewed patients with grade 4 neutropenia to provide qualitative information on patients' experience of developing and coping with grade 4 neutropenia during a cycle of chemotherapy.
A sample of 34 patients who developed grade 4 neutropenia during the first cycle of chemotherapy completed a total of 100 structured clinical interviews. Interviews were transcribed, and 2 raters inductively developed 5 broad categories comprising 80 specific complaint domains nominated by patients. Thirty-five patient-nominated problems were mentioned in 5% or more of the interviews.
Fatigue was the most common physical symptom. Interference in daily routine, negative self-evaluation, negative emotion, and social isolation were other common complaints associated with neutropenia.
Neutropenia is associated with a number of negative experiences among cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, and these negative experiences have an adverse effect on the patient's quality of life. Oncology nurses can play a key role in helping patients manage adverse effects to maintain their quality of life.
Our aim was to study the feasibility of an intensified intravenous CMF (cyclophosphamide, methotrexate and 5-fluorouracil) schedule with the aim to escalate dose intensity (DI). Twenty-three premenopausal breast cancer patients received 6 cycles of adjuvant CMF intravenously on days 1 and 8 every 3 weeks and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor days 9–18. Endpoints were DI and toxicity. Twenty-one out of 23 patients (91%) received the projected total dose and reached ≥ 85% of the projected DI. Compared to ‘classical’ CMF, all patients reached ≥ 111% DI. Nine patients received the planned schedule without delay. Thirteen patients (57%) were treated for infection and four patients (17%) were hospitalized for febrile neutropenia. Twelve patients received red blood cell transfusions (52%). Radiation therapy (n= 6) had no adverse impact on dose intensity or haematological toxicity. This dose-intensified CMF schedule was accompanied by enhanced haematological toxicity with clinical sequelae, namely fever, intravenous antibiotics and red blood cell transfusions, but allows a high dose intensity in a majority of patients. © 2000 Cancer Research Campaign
adjuvant chemotherapy; breast cancer; CMF; dose intensity; granulocyte colony stimulating factor; premenopausal
The treatment of elderly cancer patients is complicated by many factors. We sought to assess the uptake and tolerance of chemotherapy among patients 75 years and older diagnosed with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) in years 2004–2008 in Alberta, Canada, and assess their survival. All patients who met the above criteria and had an oncologist-consult were included. Data were obtained from the Alberta Cancer Registry and chart review. A total of 171 patients were included in the study, 117 (68%) of whom began chemotherapy. Of those, 52% completed all cycles, 66% did not have any dose reductions, and 31% completed all cycles at the recommended dose. The risk of death for patients who did not complete all cycles of chemotherapy was 2.72 (95% CI: 1.52–4.87) and for those who completed all cycles but with a reduced dose was 1.02 (95% CI: 0.57–1.82) relative to those who completed chemotherapy at full dose after adjusting for several demographic/clinical factors. Our results suggest that a significant proportion of elderly patients are able to tolerate chemotherapy and receive a survival benefit from it while those who experience toxicity may receive a survival benefit from a reduction in chemotherapy dose as opposed to stopping treatment.
Palliative chemotherapy for inoperable/metastatic oesophageal cancer has limited activity. This study assesses the feasibility and activity of gemcitabine and cisplatin in this group of patients. In total, 42 patients with locally advanced/metastatic squamous or adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus were treated with gemcitabine 1250 mg m−2 days 1 and 8 and cisplatin 75 mg m−2 day 1 in a 21-day cycle. Interim safety analysis was carried out after the first 19 patients suggested significant toxicity. The dose of gemcitabine was subsequently reduced to 1000 mg m−2. Patients were assessed for toxicity and response. The median number of treatment cycles per patient was 4 (range 1–6). Grade 3–4 neutropenia occurred in 37% of cycles; however, there was only one episode of neutropenic fever. Nonhaematological toxicities included fatigue, nausea and vomiting. Among 32 patients eligible for response, there were three complete responses and 16 partial responses (overall response rate of 45%); nine patients had stable disease. Median survival was 11 months. The response rate appears to be greatest in those with squamous carcinoma compared to adenocarcinoma (71 vs 33%, P=0.036). The combination of gemcitabine and cisplatin in this schedule has manageable toxicity and significant activity in patients with locally advanced/metastatic oesophageal cancer and is worthy of further study.
cisplatin; gemcitabine; oesophageal cancer; phase II
Eighteen patients with advanced breast cancer were commenced on treatment with high dose doxorubicin (100 mg m-2) or doxorubicin (100 mg m-2) and cyclophosphamide (500 mg m-2) at 2 weekly intervals. Three cycles of treatment were planned. rG-CSF was given subcutaneously for 10 days, starting 24 h after each cycle of chemotherapy. Sixteen out of 18 patients responded (89%) of whom six (33%) achieved a complete remission. Twelve (67%) completed the three planned cycles, four (22%) received two cycles and two (11%) received one cycle only. The median time to progression was 5 1/2 months and the median survival was 18 1/2 months. Neutropenia occurred after 89% of courses and 65% of courses were accompanied by a significant (WHO grade III or IV) infection. The duration of neutropenia was short (mean 5.4 days) and mean time to absolute neutrophil count recovery (ANC > 1,000 x 10(6) litre) from the start of treatment was 11 days. Moderate to severe epithelial toxicity (WHO grade 3 or 4) accompanied 43% of courses and was dose limiting. Conclusion: High dose, dose intensive chemotherapy has an excellent initial therapeutic effect in advanced breast cancer but does not prolong duration of remission or overall survival beyond that of standard treatment. Although subcutaneous rG-CSF curtailed the expected duration of neutropenia substantially, the overall incidence of neutropenia and of infections requiring intravenous antibiotics was high. Furthermore, almost half of the courses were complicated by moderate to severe oral mucositis and/or mild to moderate palmar and plantar inflammation. The lack of survival benefit and excess toxicity seriously limits the wider application of this regime. It should not be used in place of standard dose palliative chemotherapy for metastatic breast cancer.
Colony-stimulating factors (CSFs) are commonly used for the treatment of neutropenia following chemotherapy and for the mobilization of peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC). We recently experienced a rare case of a new onset of psoriasiform eruption by GM-CSF (granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor) which was exacerbated by G-CSF (granulocyte colony-stimulating factor) in a patient with breast cancer. A 36-year-old woman had received neoadjuvant chemotherapy (cyclophosphamide, epirubicin and 5-fluorouracil), modified radical mastectomy and adjuvant chemotherapy with paclitaxel and mitoxantrone followed by GM-CSF administration for the treatment of locally advanced breast cancer. She had developed a psoriatic skin lesion on face and both upper arms during leukocyte recovery in spite of no previous history of psoriasis. Next, the chemotherapy course was complicated by a flare of mild psoriatic skin lesion, although CSF was changed into G-CSF due to GM-CSF-associated psoriasis. Subsequently, she had had high-dose chemotherapy and autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation for consolidation therapy. GM-CSF was administered for the mobilization of PBSC and post-transplant period, but psoriatic skin lesion did not appear. During 6 months after PBSCT, psoriasiform eruption did not appear.
Purpose of review
This review updates treatment of neutropenia from articles published from January 2008 through April 2009.
Chemotherapy-induced neutropenia occurs most commonly in the first cycle of treatment. Older patients, patients with multiple co-morbidities, and those receiving more myelotoxic drugs are prone to develop neutropenia and its complications. Current guidelines recommend use of the myeloid growth factors for the first cycle of chemotherapy for patients with more that a 20 % risk of febrile neutropenia. Meta-analysis from randomized trials shows that granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) prophylaxis is associated with patients receiving more intensive chemotherapy, having better survival, but also having a higher risk of secondary AML. Antibiotic remain the mainstay of treatment of febrile neutropenia and are increasingly used for prophylaxis in “low risk” patients. Diagnosis and treatment of other type of neutropenia is also steadily improving.
The myeloid growth factor G-CSF has radically changed our approach to the management of neutropenia. Antibiotics remain the mainstay of treatment of febrile neutropenia.
neutrophil; neutropenia; granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF); chemotherapy-induced neutropenia