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G-CSF therapy "safe" - conference

Monday May 8th, 2017

G-CSFs to boost white blood cells can be used safely during chemo-radiotherapy for small cell lung cancer, a European conference has been told.

British researchers say the findings show how the treatment has advanced since a trial 27 years ago showed significant side-effects from the treatment.

The findings were revealed at the European Lung Cancer Conference in Vienna, Austria.

The treatment is intended to reduce the risk of neutropenia, improving the survival and proliferation of neutrophils.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology advises against its routine use following the 1991 trial.

Some 547 patients took part in the latest study, conducted in Manchester, UK. About 40% of patients used G-CSF - granulocyte colony-stimulating factors.

The treatment was linked to an increased risk of thrombocytopenia or anaemia - but this had no impact on complications or survival and was treated with platelets and blood transfusions, the researchers say.

Researcher Dr Fabio Gomes, of the Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK, said: "We can conclude from this analysis that the use of G-CSF during thoracic radiotherapy is safe and should support patients to receive the full planned course of concurrent chemo-radiotherapy and achieve the best possible benefit.

"These findings should give clinicians the confidence to use G-CSF when needed in this context. We aim to publish a complete analysis later this year which may hopefully help change the current guidelines."

Dr Stefan Zimmermann, of the HFR - Hôpital Cantonal, Fribourg, Switzerland, said the incidence of thrombocytopenia was a concern.

He said: "Oncologists do need G-CSF to mitigate neutropenia and increase chemotherapy delivery and compliance, but want the beneficial effect of timely concurrent therapy to outweigh the toxic risks."

"In this analysis, the use of G-CSF did not result in an increased risk of pneumonitis, but the incidence of severe thrombocytopenia is a concern."

Abstract LBA2_PR: Use of G-CSF and prophylactic antibiotics with concurrent chemo-radiotherapy in limited-stage small cell lung cancer: results from the phase III CONVERT trial.

Tags: Cancer | Europe | Pharmaceuticals | Respiratory | UK News

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