Clinical Topics & News

Evaluating the Incidence of Febrile Neutropenia and the Appropriate Use of Prophylactic Granulocyte Colony Stimulating Factors in Veterans Who Received Treatment for Non- Hodgkin’s Lymphoma



Febrile neutropenia (FN) is one of the most concerning complications associated with chemotherapy treatment, often leading to hospitalizations and delays in chemotherapy. The NCCN Guideline recommends primary prophylaxis with G-CSFs for patients receiving chemotherapy regimens that have an intermediate risk for FN if the patients have risk factors. A common intermediate risk for FN regimen is CHOP plus an anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody (mAb) for the treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). At VASDHCS, an evaluation of the appropriate use of prophylactic GCSFs in this risk group would allow better optimization of patient care.


To evaluate the incidence of FN in correlation with the appropriate use of G-CSFs in patients who received CHOP plus an anti-CD20 mAb for the treatment of NHL


This is a retrospective study at VA San Diego of adult veterans with a confirmed diagnosis of NHL who received the first cycle of CHOP plus an anti- CD20 mAb between January 1, 2006, to October 1, 2021. Patients were categorized based on whether they received prophylactic G-CSF during the first cycle. The primary outcome measured was the incidence of FN in veterans with risk factor(s) who received CHOP plus an anti-CD20 mAb. The secondary outcome was the percentage of patients with risk factors who received G-CSF regardless of FN incidence. Primary outcome was analyzed using 2-tailed Fisher exact test.


57 patients were included in the final analysis. In patients with at least one risk factor for FN, 26 (60%) received prophylactic G-CSF and 17 (40%) did not. There is 1 case of FN in the group that received G-CSF and 2 cases of FN in the group without G-CSF (RR, 0.33; P = .55; 95% CI, 0.03-3.33).


In patients receiving treatment for NHL with CHOP plus an anti-CD20 mAb, most of the patients with at least 1 risk factor for FN were initiated on G-CSF. Based on the results of the study, our veteran population does not appear to have an increased risk for FN without G-CSF. A larger study is warranted to further evaluate the significance of FN in correlation with prophylactic G-CSF.

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