Document Type



Radiation Oncology


Introduction: Febrile neutropenia is a relatively frequent event in cancer patients treated with chemotherapy and improvement in absolute neutrophil count (ANC) has been linked directly to improved outcome. Evaluation of granulocyte colony stimulating factors (GCSFs) for treatment has shown reduced incidences of episodes of prolonged neutropenia and protracted hospitalization. To determine absolute neutrophil counts with GCSF in febrile neutropenic cancer patients admitted to a tertiary care centre and to co-relate the improvement in ANC with mortality and hospital discharge.Methods: A prospective cross sectional study was carried at an oncology ward at Aga Khan University hospital from January 2010 to June 2011. All adult patients who were admitted and treated with GCSF for chemotherapy induced febrile neutropenia were included. Multivariable regression was conducted to identify the factors related with poor outcomes.Results: A total of 131 patients with febrile neutropenia were identified with mean age of 43.2 (18-85) years, 79 (60%) being ≤ 50. Seventy-five (57%) had solid tumors and 56 (43%) hematological malignancies, including lymphoma. Fifty seven (43.5%) had an ANC less 100 cells/mm(3), 34 (26%) one between 100-300 cells/mm(3) and 40 (31%) an ANC greater than 300 cells/mm(3). Thirty (23%) patients showed ANC recovery in 1-3 days, and 74(56%) within 4-7 days. Thirteen (10%) patients showed no recovery. The overall mortality was 18 (13.7%) patients. The mean time for ANC recovery seen in hematological malignancies was 6.34 days whereas for solid tumors it was 4.88 days. Patients with ANC /mm(3) were more likely to die than patients with ANC >300 cells/mm(3) by a factor of 4.3. Similarly patients >50 years of age were 2.7 times more likely to die than younger patients.CONCLUSION: Our study demonstrated that use of GCSF, in addition to intravenous antibiotics, in treatment of patients with chemotherapy induced febrile neutropenia accelerates neutrophil recovery, and shortens antibiotic therapy and hospitalization. We propose to risk classify the patients at the time of admission to evaluate the cost effectiveness of this approach in a resource constrained setup.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention