Pegfilgrastim appears equivalent to daily dosing of filgrastim to treat neutropenia after autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation in patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Robert Rifkin, Gary Spitzer, Gregory Orloff, Romeo Mandanas, Dean McGaughey, Feng Zhan, Kristi A Boehm, Lina Asmar, Roy Beveridge
Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma & Leukemia 2010, 10 (3): 186-91

BACKGROUND: Filgrastim decreases the time to neutrophil recovery after autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (PBSCT). We hypothesized that single-dose pegfilgrastim would mimic multiple daily doses of filgrastim, resulting in an equivalent shortening of post-PBSCT neutropenia.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients who were eligible for PBSCT and aged >or= 18 years were identified before high-dose chemotherapy, after the harvesting and cryopreservation of peripheral blood progenitor cells (ie, > 2.5 x 10(6) CD34-positive cells/kg). Eligible patients received either standard carmustine/etoposide/cytarabine/melphalan (BEAM) or carmustine/etoposide/cytarabine/cyclophosphamide (BEAC) high-dose chemotherapy. Before high-dose chemotherapy, patients were randomly assigned to receive pegfilgrastim 6 mg on day 1 (arm A) or weight-based, dose-adjusted filgrastim beginning on day 1 (arm B) after transplantation until neutrophil engraftment.

RESULTS: One-hundred and one patients were enrolled between April 2003 and April 2007. Three patients were not treated. Demographics were well-balanced in terms of stage at diagnosis, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, histology, and lines of previous therapy. Results (arm A/arm B) pertained to mean doses received (1.0/12.6), mean absolute neutrophil count recovery days (9.3/9.8), red blood cell transfusions (1.7/1.9), red blood cell transfusion units (3.1/3.8), platelet transfusions (3.1/2.8), positive blood culture rate (18%/29.2%), febrile neutropenia (FN; 18%/16.7%), and duration of FN (days; 7.1/6.9). Transplantation-related mortality and grade 3 or 4 adverse events were comparable between arms.

CONCLUSION: Pegfilgrastim after PBSCT appears equivalent to multiple daily doses of filgrastim. This approach might be considered in lieu of filgrastim, thus obviating the need for multiple daily injections.

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