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Curr Oncol. 2012 Aug;19(4):e239-43. doi: 10.3747/co.19.948.

Use and delivery of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor in breast cancer patients receiving neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemotherapy-single-centre experience.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON.



Use of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (g-csf) as primary prophylaxis against chemotherapy-induced neutropenia has significant cost implications. We examined use of g-csf for early-stage breast cancer patients at our centre. The study also examined the pattern of nurse-led patient teaching with respect to drug self-administration.


Patients who received g-csf between November 2009 and October 2010 were identified from pharmacy records. After consent had been obtained, electronic charts were examined to extract data on chemotherapy and use of g-csf. Patients were contacted by telephone to obtain information on the utilization of home-care nursing visits for g-csf administration.


The study analyzed 36 patients. Median age was 58 years (range: 31-78 years). Of the 36 patients, 30 (83%) had received adjuvant treatment, and 6 (17%), neoadjuvant treatment. Most patients (71%) received 10 days (range: 7-10 days) of filgrastim. Of the 36 patients, 29 (81%) received g-csf as primary prophylaxis. In 90% of those patients, primary prophylaxis commenced with the taxane component of treatment. Of the 36 patients, 7 (19%) received g-csf after neutropenia, including 2 who had febrile neutropenia. In 96% of the patients, injections were received at home with the help of a nurse; those patients were subsequently taught self-injection techniques. The median number of nursing visits was 2 (range: 1-3 visits). Most patients were satisfied with the home care and g-csf teaching they received.


Most of the g-csf used in breast cancer treatment during the study period was given for primary prophylaxis. A major reason for the decision to use g-csf appears to have been physician-perceived risk of febrile neutropenia. Delivery of g-csf by home-care nurses was well received by patients.


Growth factor; breast cancer; chemotherapy; drug administration; febrile neutropenia; neutropenia; prophylaxis

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