What is the effect of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) on induction therapy for acute myeloid leukemia (AML)?

Updated: May 26, 2020
  • Author: Karen Seiter, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Several randomized studies have been performed that attempted to determine the effect of growth factors on induction therapy.

In an early Japanese study, patients with poor-risk acute leukemia randomly received either granulocyte olony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) derived from Escherichia coli or no drug. Patients in the G-CSF group had a faster neutrophil recovery (20 d) than those receiving no drug (28 d), fewer febrile days (3 vs 7 d, respectively), and fewer documented infections. [105] No significant difference in response rate or remission duration was observed between the 2 groups.

In a French study of G-CSF, the duration of neutropenia was shorter in the G-CSF arm (21 d) than in the placebo arm (27 d), and the complete response rate was higher in those who received G-CSF (70%) than in those who received placebo (47%); however, the overall survival rate was unaffected. [106]

In a Southwestern Oncology Group (SWOG) study, a decrease was observed in the time to neutrophil recovery and days with fever in those who received G-CSF; however, no difference in complete remission rate and overall survival rate was observed for patients receiving G-CSF versus no drug. [107]

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