J. Clin. Oncol.
Filgrastim during combination chemotherapy of patients with poor-prognosis metastatic germ cell malignancy. European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer, Genito-Urinary Group, and the Medical Research Council Testicular Cancer Working Party, Cambridge, United Kingdom.   
To determine the effect of r-metHu granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) on the proportion of patients with metastatic poor-prognosis malignant germ cell tumors who receive full dose-intensity combination chemotherapy.
In a phase III study patients received six cycles of BEP/EP (etoposide, and cisplatin, plus or minus bleomycin) or six cycles of BOP/VIP-B (bleomycin, vincristine, cisplatin/etoposide, ifosfamide, cisplatin, bleomycin). A subset were secondarily randomized to receive or not receive filgrastim. Filgrastim 5 microg/kg/day was administered subcutaneously on days 3 through 9 after each BOP and on days 6 through 19 after each VIP, BEP, or EP cycle.
Eighty-five percent of 120 eligible patients randomized to filgrastim received at least six chemotherapy cycles compared with 70% of 130 patients randomized to not receive filgrastim (VCP = .003). Patients in the filgrastim-arm achieved significantly higher dose-intensities. Neutropenic fever occurred in 25 of 128 filgrastim-patients and in 38 of 129 non-filgrastim-patients (P = .052). Twelve and three toxic deaths occurred in the non-filgrastim- and filgrastim-arms, respectively. Nine of the 12 toxic deaths and all of the three toxic deaths were associated with febrile grade 4 neutropenia. Failure-free and overall survival were similar in both arms.
During combination chemotherapy in patients with malignant germ cell tumors, the routine use of filgrastim significantly improved the delivery of the planned treatment schedule without effect on failure-free or overall survival. The use of filgrastim was associated with a clinically important reduction in the number of toxic deaths, confined to the experimental intensified-chemotherapy schedule. This study does not support the routine use of filgrastim during standard chemotherapy with BEP.

Related Questions

There are conflicting reports of increased incidence of bleomycin-induced lung toxicity with G-CSF.