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Blood. 2011 Feb 17;117(7):2121-8. doi: 10.1182/blood-2010-06-290080. Epub 2010 Dec 16.

Testing G-CSF responsiveness predicts the individual susceptibility to infection and consecutive treatment in recipients of high-dose chemotherapy.

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Schön Klinik Starnberger See, Berg, Germany, and Medizinische Klinik Innenstadt der Universität München, Munich, Germany.


The individual risk of infection and requirements for medical treatment after high-dose chemotherapy have been unpredictable. In this prospective, multicenter, open-label study we investigated the potential of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) responsiveness as a predictor. A total of 168 patients with multiple myeloma or lymphoma received a single dose of subcutaneous G-CSF (lenograstim, 263 μg) after high-dose chemotherapy. Highly variable leukocyte peaks were measured and grouped as low (quartile 1; leukocytes 100-10 100/μL), medium (quartile 2; leukocytes > 10 100-18 300/μL), and high (quartiles 3/4; leukocytes > 18 300-44 800/μL). G-CSF responsiveness (low vs medium vs high) was inversely correlated with febrile neutropenia (77% vs 60% vs 48%; P = .0037); the rate of infection, including fever of unknown origin (91% vs 67% vs 54%; P < .0001); days with intravenous antibiotics (9 vs 6 vs 5; P < .0001); and antifungal therapy (P = .042). In multivariate analysis, G-CSF responsiveness remained the only factor significantly associated with infection (P = .016). In addition, G-CSF responsiveness was inversely correlated with grade 3/4 oral mucositis (67% vs 33% vs 23%; P < .0001). G-CSF responsiveness appears as a signature of the myeloid marrow reserve predicting defense against neutropenic infection after intensive chemotherapy. This study is registered at as NCT01085058.

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