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J Clin Oncol. 1996 Nov;14(11):2976-83.

Randomized double-blind prospective trial to evaluate the effects of sargramostim versus placebo in a moderate-dose fluorouracil, doxorubicin, and cyclophosphamide adjuvant chemotherapy program for stage II and III breast cancer.

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  • 1Texas Oncology, PA, Dallas 75246, USA.



To determine the effects of sargramostim (recombinant human granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor [rhu GM-CSF]) on the incidence, duration, and complications of myelosuppression after moderate-dose fluorouracil, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide (FAC) adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with node-positive breast cancer.


In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 142 women with stage II and III breast cancer were to receive four 21-day cycles of chemotherapy that consisted of fluorouracil 600 mg/ m2 intravenously (IV), doxorubicin 60 mg/m2 IV, and cyclophosphamide 750 mg/m2 IV on day 1, followed by placebo or GM-CSF 250 micrograms/m2/d daily subcutaneously (SC) on days 3 through 15. All patients received prophylactic ciprofloxacin by mouth when the absolute neutrophil count (ANC) was less than 1,000/microL.


Eighty-six percent of GM-CSF patients (n = 62) and 96% of placebo patients (n = 69) completed four assessable cycles of treatment on study. Overall, the median duration of severe neutropenia (ANC < 500/microL) was 2.8 days with GM-CSF and 6.8 days with placebo (P < .001); the duration of ANC less than 1,000/microL was 6.0 versus 9.1 days, respectively (P < .001). Hospitalizations for febrile neutropenia were uncommon in either group: GM-CSF, six; placebo, eight. The only other difference in hematologic toxicity was grade 3/4 thrombocytopenia observed with greater frequency in GM-CSF patients than placebo patients in cycles 3 and 4. GM-CSF increased mean the FAC dose-intensity among patients who completed two or more cycles (P < .001). GM-CSF was generally well tolerated and associated with more injection-site reactions, but less mucositis than placebo. There were no deaths on study.


GM-CSF significantly enhanced ANC recovery after FAC chemotherapy; it decreased the incidence and duration of associated neutropenia and moderately increased the dose-intensity of adjuvant chemotherapy. Whether these effects will ultimately translate into improved long-term outcome remains to be determined.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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