International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 45–50 | Cite as

Predictors of response of patients with solid tumors to granulocyte colony-stimulating factor

  • Hiroaki Ohnaka
  • Hitoshi Tsukamoto
  • Toshiaki Nakamura
  • Ryoichi Yano
  • Kyohei Watanabe
  • Toshiaki Igarashi
  • Nobuyuki Goto
  • Mikio Masada
Research Article


Background Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor administration is an important component of supportive therapy in chemotherapy-induced leukopenia. Although patient response to granulocyte colony-stimulating factor administration is known to vary, the factors responsible for poor response have not been identified. Objective To identify the predictors of the responses of patients with solid tumors to granulocyte colony-stimulating factor. Setting A 600-bed university hospital offering secondary and tertiary care in Japan. Methods This retrospective cohort study examined the response of 181 patients with solid tumors who were administered prophylactic granulocyte colony-stimulating factor for the first time after they developed severe grade 3/4 leukopenia (white blood cell count <2,000 × 10−9/L) because of adjuvant or neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The granulocyte colony-stimulating factor response was defined as the length of the leukocyte recovery period, which was assessed as the period within which the normal white blood cell count (white blood cell count >3,000 × 10−9/L) is reached after the first dosage of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor. After classification of the patients as either poor or normal granulocyte colony-stimulating factor responders according to the confidence interval of the recovery period, their characteristics were compared. Main outcome measure The time for recovery to normal white blood cell count was 2–7 days (90 % confidence interval), and the cutoff value for differentiating poor responders (n = 14) from normal responders (n = 167) was 8 days. Univariate analysis identified previous radiotherapy, number of chemotherapy courses, high granulocyte colony-stimulating factor dosage, and hypoalbuminemia to be significantly associated with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor response. Multivariate analysis identified undergoing four or more chemotherapy courses (odds ratio = 5.09; 95 % confidence interval, 1.14–22.71) and heart failure (odds ratio = 5.96; 95 % confidence interval, 1.09–32.57) to be significantly associated with poor granulocyte colony-stimulating factor response. Conclusions Undergoing four or more chemotherapy courses and heart failure are independent risk factors for poor response to granulocyte colony-stimulating factor. These findings may help prevent the complications of leukopenia during chemotherapy and highlight the need to develop better strategies for preventing and treating infectious disease in patients undergoing granulocyte colony-stimulating factor administration.


Chemotherapy Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor Heart failure Leukopenia Neutropenia 





This research did not receive any specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroaki Ohnaka
    • 1
  • Hitoshi Tsukamoto
    • 1
  • Toshiaki Nakamura
    • 1
  • Ryoichi Yano
    • 1
  • Kyohei Watanabe
    • 1
  • Toshiaki Igarashi
    • 1
  • Nobuyuki Goto
    • 2
  • Mikio Masada
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PharmacyUniversity of Fukui HospitalFukuiJapan
  2. 2.Department of Drug Informatics, Faculty of PharmacyMeijo UniversityNagoyaJapan

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