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Posted by on Dec 30, 2017 in Breast cancer | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study evaluated the effectiveness of filgrastim (Neupogen) as compared to original G-CSF treatments lenograstim and pegfilgrastim (Neulasta). The study concluded that filgrastim was as effective as original G-CSF treatments.  

Some background

Low white blood cell counts can occur as a side-effect during chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer. Granulocyte-stimulating colony factor (G-CSF) is a naturally occurring protein which stimulates the growth of white blood cells in bone marrow. Treatments such lenograstim and pegfilgrastim are used to address the low white blood cell counts and act as G-CSF in the body. These are used prophylactically (before the side-effect occurs) in chemotherapy regimes such as docetaxel/doxorubicin/cyclophosphamide. 

Filgrastim is a biosimilar treatment. A biosimilar is an almost identical treatment to those first approved for use. The safety and effectiveness of filgrastim as compared to original G-CSF treatments lenograstim and pegfilgrastim are unclear. 

Methods & findings

This study evaluated 98 patients who collectively had 518 chemotherapy cycles. 215 cycles were treated with original G-CSFs and 303 with filgrastim. The incidence of low white blood cell counts accompanied by fever (febrile neutropenia) were measured during each cycle.

The incidence of febrile neutropenia between groups was similar: 3.7% with original G-CSFs versus 3.3% with filgrastim. The highest incidence of febrile neutropenia was associated with lenograstim (11.4%).

The bottom line

The study concluded that filgrastim was as effective as original G-CSF treatments lenograstim and pegfilgrastim.

The fine print

The statistical significance of this study is poor in parts, it could be improved by further studies with larger number of patients. 

What’s next?

Discuss this study with your doctor. 

Published By :

European journal of clinical pharmacology

Date :

Nov 19, 2017

Original Title :

Effectiveness of biosimilar filgrastim vs. original granulocyte colony-stimulating factors in febrile neutropenia prevention in breast cancer patients.

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