Treatment of chemotherapy-induced neutropenia by subcutaneously administered granulocyte colony-stimulating factor with optimization of dose and duration of therapy

G. Morstyn, L. Campbell, G. Lieschke, J. E. Layton, D. Maher, M. O'Connor, M. Green, W. Sheridan, M. Vincent, K. Alton, L. Souza, K. McGrath, R. M. Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

164 Citations (Scopus)


In patients who have not received extensive prior chemotherapy or radiotherapy, it has been previously demonstrated that granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) abrogated the leukopenia following administration of melphalan (25 mg/m2). This study examined the necessity of a prechemotherapy period of G-CSF administration and the effect of varying the timing and duration of postchemotherapy G-CSF. Initially, patients received 0.3, 1.0, 3.0, and 10 μg/kg/d subcutaneously on days 1 to 5 and days 10 to 18. Melphalan was given on day 9. In the next portion of the study melphalan was administered on day 1 and G-CSF, 10 μg/kg/d, was administered by subcutaneous infusion on five schedules: (1) days 2 to 13; (2) days 8 to 13; (3) days 2 to 18; (4) days 8 to 18; (5) days -9 to -2 to 13. G-CSF produced a rapid and sustained elevation in neutrophil levels within 24 hours even when started 8 days after melphalan. This treatment was sufficient to abrogate the neutropenia in patients who had received no prior chemotherapy. It was not necessary to continue G-CSF for more than 7 days. G-CSF did not consistently alter the course of the thrombocytopenia that followed this dose of melphalan. G-CSF was well tolerated, although mild bone pain occurred and was reduced with acetaminophen. One of 22 patients developed cellulitis at an infusion site. We conclude that after melphalan chemotherapy, G-CSF may need to be given for only a short period to prevent chemotherapy-induced neutropenia, and that G-CSF induces a rapid rise in neutrophil levels even when started 8 days after melphalan administration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1554-1562
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

Cite this