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Real-World Biosimilar Use for Treatment of Neutropenia After NSCLC Chemotherapy

April 30, 2019

The use of biosimilar filgrastim for the real-world treatment of neutropenia in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) results in comparable effectiveness and safety with reference filgrastim, according to a study published in the European Journal of Cancer Care (online April 10, 2019; doi:10.1111/ecc.13034).

Real-world evidence on the use of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) in patients with NSCLC remain limited.

Matti Aapro, MD, Cancer Center, Clinique de Genolier (Switzerland), and colleagues conducted a pan-European, multicenter, prospective, non-interventional study (MONITOR-GCSF) to describe patient characteristics, treatment patterns, and clinical outcomes in those receiving biosimilar filgrastim in the prophylaxis of chemotherapy-induced neutropenia and febrile neutropenia. The study included a sub-analysis of 345 patients with stage III/IV NSCLC who received up to six chemotherapy cycles. Patients were treated with biosimilar filgrastim as per physician best judgement.

Primary outcomes of the study included incidence of chemotherapy-induced neutropenia or febrile neutropenia, antibiotic prophylaxis, biosimilar filgrastim prophylaxis, and adverse events.

Dr Aapro and colleagues reported that 36.5% (n = 126) of patients experienced one or more chemotherapy-induced neutropenia episode and 5.2% (n = 18) of patients had febrile neutropenia of any grade throughout the duration of the study. In cycle 1, chemotherapy-induced neutropenia occurred in 13.6% (n = 47) of patients and febrile neutropenia occurred in 1.4% (n = 5) of patients. Grade 3/4 febrile neutropenia occurred in 1.2% (n = 4) of patients in cycle 1 and in 3.8% (n = 13) of patients in all cycles.

Among the adverse events reported in patients with NSCLC included arthralgia, bone pain, cough, gastroenteritis, and myalgia (each in one patient, 0.3%).

“Results show that in real-life practice in patients with NSCLC, biosimilar filgrastim has similar effectiveness and safety to the known effectiveness and safety profile of reference filgrastim, supporting the use of biosimilar filgrastim for the real-world treatment of neutropenia in patients with NSCLC,” authors of the study concluded.—Zachary Bessette

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