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Frequency of febrile neutropenia in patients treated with taxane/epirubicine and colony-stimulating growth factors for breast cancer: comparison of filgrastim/lenograstim with pegfilgrastim

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This report describes a single centre's experience on the efficacy of pegfilgrastim compared with filgrastim or lenograstim in reducing the incidence of febrile neutropenia in patients receiving combination chemotherapy with docetaxel or paclitaxel and epirubicin in neoadjuvant and adjuvant settings.


A total of 118 patients with breast cancer were treated with either epirubicin 75 mg/m2 and docetaxel 75 mg/m2 or with epirubicin 90 mg/m2 and paclitaxel 200 mg/m2 every 3 weeks; 88 patients received G-CSF support with daily filgrastim or lenograstim and 30 patients with pegfilgrastim once per cycle.


Eight (9.1%) patients with prophylactic filgrastim or lenograstim support developed febrile neutropenia, and one (3.3%) patient in the pegfilgrastim group (P = 0.445). Febrile neutropenia occurred in 13 (2.7%) of 476 filgrastim or lenograstim supported chemotherapy cycles, and in two (1.2%) of 172 cycles with pegfilgrastim support (P = 0.376). The frequency of chemotherapy delays and dose reductions was not significantly different between the two G-CSF treatment groups.


The results of this study demonstrate a trend towards superiority of pegfilgrastim over filgrastim or lenograstim in reducing the frequency of febrile neutropenia in patients treated with taxane and epirubicin chemotherapy regimens for breast cancer.

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  • Paclitaxel
  • Docetaxel
  • Febrile Neutropenia
  • Epirubicin
  • Filgrastim