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N Engl J Med. 1997 Feb 6;336(6):404-9.

Effects of polyethylene glycol-conjugated recombinant human megakaryocyte growth and development factor on platelet counts after chemotherapy for lung cancer.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, and the Winship Cancer Center, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.



Polyethylene glycol (PEG)-conjugated recombinant human megakaryocyte growth and development factor (MGDF, also known as PEG-rHuMGDF), a recombinant molecule related to thrombopoietin, specifically stimulates megakaryopoiesis and platelet production and reduces the severity of thrombocytopenia in animals receiving myelosuppressive chemotherapy.


We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled dose-escalation study of MGDF in 53 patients with lung cancer who were treated with carboplatin and paclitaxel. The patients were randomly assigned in blocks of 4 in a 1:3 ratio to receive either placebo or MGDF (0.03, 0.1, 0.3, 1.0, 3.0, or 5.0 microg per kilogram of body weight per day), injected subcutaneously. No other marrow-active cytokines were given.


In the 38 patients who received MGDF after chemotherapy, the median nadir platelet count was 188,000 per cubic millimeter (range, 68,000 to 373,000), as compared with 111,000 per cubic millimeter (range, 21,000 to 307,000) in 12 patients receiving placebo (P = 0.013). The platelet count recovered to base-line levels in 14 days in the treated patients as compared with more than 21 days in those receiving placebo (P<0.001). Among all 40 patients treated with MGDF, 1 had deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, and another had superficial thrombophlebitis.


MGDF has potent stimulatory effects on platelet production in patients with chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia.

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