Blood Journal
Leading the way in experimental and clinical research in hematology

A randomized controlled phase III trial of recombinant human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (filgrastim) for treatment of severe chronic neutropenia

  1. DC Dale,
  2. MA Bonilla,
  3. MW Davis,
  4. AM Nakanishi,
  5. WP Hammond,
  6. J Kurtzberg,
  7. W Wang,
  8. A Jakubowski,
  9. E Winton, and
  10. P Lalezari
  1. Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle 98195.

Abstract

Patients with idiopathic, cyclic, and congenital neutropenia have recurrent severe bacterial infections. One hundred twenty-three patients with recurrent infections and severe chronic neutropenia (absolute neutrophil count < 0.5 x 10(9)/L) due to these diseases were enrolled in this multicenter phase III trial. They were randomized to either immediately beginning recombinant human granulocyte colony- stimulating factor (filgrastim) (3.45 to 11.50 micrograms/kg/d, subcutaneously) or entering a 4-month observation period followed by filgrastim administration. Blood neutrophil counts, bone marrow (BM) cell histology, and incidence and duration of infection-related events were monitored. Of the 123 patients enrolled, 120 received filgrastim. On therapy, 108 patients had a median absolute neutrophil count of = or = 1.5 x 10(9)/L. Examination of BM aspirates showed increased proportions of maturing neutrophils. Infection-related events were significantly decreased (P < .05) with approximately 50% reduction in the incidence and duration of infection-related events and almost 70% reduction in duration of antibiotic use. Asymptomatic splenic enlargement occurred frequently; adverse events frequently reported were bone pain, headache, and rash, which were generally mild and easily manageable. These data indicate that treatment of patients with severe chronic neutropenia with filgrastim results in a stimulation of BM production and maturation of neutrophils, an increase in circulating neutrophils, and a reduction in infection-related events.