What is the efficacy of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)?

Updated: Oct 26, 2020
  • Author: Karen Seiter, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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In a randomized phase III study reported by Geissler et al, subjects who received G-CSF beginning on day 2 of induction chemotherapy (ie, with daunorubicin, vincristine, L -asparaginase, and prednisone) had a marked decrease in the proportion of days with neutropenia of less than 1000/µL (29% for G-CSF vs 84% for controls), a reduction in the prevalence of febrile neutropenia (12% vs 42% in controls), and a decrease in the prevalence of documented infections (40% vs 77%) relative to those who received chemotherapy without G-CSF. [84] No difference was observed in response, remission duration, or survival between the 2 groups. [84]

In the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) 9111 study, subjects who received G-CSF beginning on day 4 of induction chemotherapy had significantly shorter durations of neutropenia and significantly fewer days of hospitalization compared with those in the group that received placebo. [85] In this study, subjects receiving G-CSF also had higher complete remission (CR) rates, because fewer deaths occurred during remission induction. Again, no significant effect on disease-free survival or overall survival was observed. [85]

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