Combination chemotherapy used to treat patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is associated with neutropenia and subsequent infection, hospital admission and treatment delays. Haematopoietic growth factors (HGF) can prevent neutropenia and improve quality of life. We undertook a meta-analysis of six randomised and one nonrandomised trials to quantify the effect in previously untreated patients, and a simple cost-effectiveness analysis. The trials compared HGF plus chemotherapy with chemotherapy alone. In total, there were 779 patients aged between 15 and 82 years. Haematopoietic growth factors was associated with a statistically significant 44% reduction in the incidence of severe neutropenia (neutrophil count <0.5 × 109 l -1), a 60% reduction in the number of hospital admissions due to infection, an 80% reduction in the number of patients who had a treatment delay due to neutropenia and a 50% reduction in hospital stay. These data together with UK G-CSF drug costs were combined to develop a simple cost-effectiveness model, based on direct costs. Given the current cost of G-CSF, it would only be cost-effective among patients in which high rates of hospital stay due to neutropenia or infection are expected. Alternatively, if the cost could be reduced then all patients may be able to obtain the benefits. However, the evidence that prophylactic HGFs are clinically worthwhile is clear.
- Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor
- Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research