Objectives: To evaluate the use of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) prophylaxis in US patients with selected metastatic cancers and chemotherapy-induced febrile neutropenia (FN) incidence and associated outcomes among the subgroup who did not receive prophylaxis.
Methods: This retrospective cohort study was conducted at four US health systems and included adults with metastatic cancer (breast, colorectal, lung, non-Hodgkin lymphoma [NHL]) who received myelosuppressive chemotherapy (2009-2017). Patients were stratified by FN risk level based on risk factors and chemotherapy (low/unclassified risk, intermediate risk without any risk factors, intermediate risk with ≥ 1 risk factor [IR + 1], high risk [HR]). G-CSF use was evaluated among all patients stratified by FN risk, and FN/FN-related outcomes were evaluated among patients who did not receive first-cycle G-CSF prophylaxis.
Results: Among 1457 metastatic cancer patients, 20.5% and 28.1% were classified as HR and IR + 1, respectively. First-cycle G-CSF prophylaxis use was 48.5% among HR patients and 13.9% among IR + 1 patients. In the subgroup not receiving first-cycle G-CSF prophylaxis, FN incidence in cycle 1 was 7.8% for HR patients and 4.8% for IR + 1 patients; during the course, corresponding values were 16.9% and 15.9%. Most (> 90%) FN episodes required hospitalization, and mortality risk ranged from 7.1 to 26.9% across subgroups.
Conclusion: In this retrospective study, the majority of metastatic cancer chemotherapy patients for whom G-CSF prophylaxis is recommended did not receive it; FN incidence in this subgroup was notably high. Patients with elevated FN risk should be carefully identified and managed to ensure appropriate use of supportive care.