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Oncology. 1999;57(2):127-30.

Outpatient treatment of neutropenic fever with oral antibiotics and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor.

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Department of Clinical Therapeutics, University of Athens School of Medicine, Athens, Greece.


In recent years, several cancer patients who developed neutropenic fever were effectively treated on an outpatient basis with either intravenous or oral antibiotics. This approach is associated with reduced cost and improved patient convenience. However, the appropriate antibiotic regimen and the role of growth factors have not been established yet. In order to address these issues we performed a nonrandomized phase II study to assess the feasibility and efficacy of an oral antibiotic regimen in combination with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) for the outpatient treatment of cancer patients with low-risk neutropenic fever. In 50 patients with solid tumors or lymphoma, 60 episodes of neutropenic fever were treated with the combination of oral ofloxacin 400 mg twice a day, oral amoxicillin 1 g 3 times a day and G-CSF 5 microgram/kg/day subcutaneously. Patients receiving G-CSF prophylaxis were eligible for our study. Oral antibiotics were administered for at least 5 days and G-CSF was continued until resolution of neutropenia. Our patients were ambulatory, hemodynamically stable, and without significant comorbidity. Our combination was successful in 57 episodes (95%) with a median time for fever resolution of 3 days (range: 1-5 days). There was no significant toxicity associated with the antibiotic regimen with the exception of one case of reversible renal impairment. The role of G-CSF in the success of our antibiotic treatment is highly questionable since one half of our patients developed fever while on G-CSF prophylaxis. The combination of oral ofloxacin and amoxicillin with G-CSF is highly effective for the outpatient treatment of cancer patients who develop uncomplicated febrile neutropenia. The relative contribution of G-CSF needs clarification with a prospective randomized study.

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