Prolonged progression-free survival in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia receiving granulocyte colony-stimulating factor during treatment with fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and rituximab.Ann Hematol. 2011 Oct; 90(10):1131-6.AH
The clinical benefit of the addition of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) to standard immunochemotherapy of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) with fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and rituximab (FCR) is still unclear. In this retrospective study we analyzed the outcome of 32 consecutive patients with CLL during treatment with FCR. Sixteen patients received G-CSF for treatment of CTC grade 3 or 4 neutropenia or febrile neutropenia at some point during therapy and 16 did not. Both groups were well balanced for clinical and biological risk factors. Overall response rates were not significantly different (94% vs. 75%; p=0.144). Interestingly, a significantly better progression-free survival (100% vs. 35.4% at 24 months; p<0.001) and even overall survival (100% vs. 77.8% at 24 months; p=0.022) was observed in patients receiving G-CSF. While the underlying cause remains to be elucidated, these data strongly suggest an association of the addition of G-CSF to FCR therapy with final patient outcome.