Pegfilgrastim Versus Filgrastim in the Management of Therapy-Related Neutropenia in Relapsed and Refractory Multiple Myeloma in Treatment with Pomalidomide-Dexamethasone

Claudio Cerchione, Davide Nappi, Fabrizio Pane and Lucio Catalano



The objective of this study was to compare the efficacy and safety of pegfilgrastim in patients affected by heavily pretreated MM, treated with pomalidomide-dexamethasone, in order to determine whether a single subcutaneous injection of pegfilgrastim is as effective as daily injections of standard filgrastim, in terms of haematological toxicity, febrile neutropenic episodes, antibiotic usage and hospedalization duration.


We enrolled 33 patients (19 male and 14 female) median age at diagnosis 69 years (r. 52-84), and median age at start of treatment 76 years (r.56-90) treated with several lines of treatments (median 7, r. 2-11), every refractory to all the drugs previously received, received Pomalidomide-Dexamethasone (Pomalidomide 4 mg for 21 days, Dexamethasone 40 mg days 1,8,15,22, pegfilgrastim day +8) every 28 days, until progression.


Since first course, received in domestic setting, with a very good compliance, patients performed blood counts once weekly and received, from day +8 to day +19 ("day + 1" when the protocol starts), prophylactic oral chinolonic antibiotics and anti-fungal drugs. During neutropenia after first cycle, Filgrastim (5 μgr/kg/day for 3 days) was given if neutrophils count was <1500 x 10^9 cells/L. Median number of filgrastim administrations was 4.8 (r. 3-6); nadir neutropenia was registered after a median of 10.7 days (r. 7-14); median of nadir neutrophil count was 1.17 x 10^9 cells/L (range 0.3 - 1.5 x 10^9 cells/L), with maximum duration of 14 days. From the second course, all patients switched to prophylaxis with pegfilgrastim (6 mg), injected subcutaneously with a single administration on day +3 independently from the neutrophil count at that time. During pegfilgrastim, neutropenia was never longer than 8 days, with a consequent reduction of neutropenia-related infections. Median nadir neutrophil count, evaluated for every patients for at least three courses of therapy (r. 3-6) registered at day +11, was 1.39 (range 0.9-2.2 x 10^9 cells/L). Only 4 patients needed a supplement of 3 administrations of filgrastim. Pegfilgrastim was well tolerated in all patients: main side effects in our patients were mild fever and bone pain (21.2%).


In conclusions, in patients affected by heavily pretreated MM treated with pomalidomide-dexamethasone, pegfilgrastim seems to reduce the incidence of severe neutropenia and infections and may increase the possibility to maintain the scheduled time of treatment.

Disclosures No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

  • * Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.