Pegfilgrastim is equivalent to daily filgrastim after standard dose chemotherapy in decreasing the duration of neutropenia. Daily filgrastim started within 1-4 days after autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) leads to significant decrease in time to neutrophil engraftment. We undertook a study of pegfilgrastim after high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) and ASCT. In all, 38 patients with multiple myeloma or lymphoma, eligible to undergo HDC and ASCT, were enrolled. Patients received a single dose of 6mg pegfilgrastim subcutaneously 24h after ASCT. There were no adverse events secondary to pegfilgrastim. All patients engrafted neutrophils and platelets with a median of 10 and 18 days, respectively. The incidence of febrile neutropenia was 49% (18/37). Neutrophil engraftment results were compared to a historical cohort of patients who received no growth factors or prophylactic filgrastim after ASCT. Time to neutrophil engraftment using pegfilgrastim was comparable to daily filgrastim and was shorter than in a historical group receiving no filgrastim (10 vs 13.7 days, P < 0.001). Pegfilgrastim given as a single fixed dose of 6 mg appears to be safe after HDC and ASCT. It accelerates neutrophil engraftment comparable to daily filgrastim after ASCT. Pegfilgrastim may be convenient to use in outpatient transplant units.
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