Effect of peg-filgrastim-supported dose-dense adjuvant chemotherapy on the peripheral blood leukocyte phenotype in breast cancer patients

Elena Collovà, Bianca Rovati, Donatella Grasso, Katia Bencardino, Mariangela Manzoni, Marco Danova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of dose-dense adjuvant chemotherapy regimens with pegfilgrastim support on the phenotype of peripheral blood leukocytes in breast cancer patients. We evaluated the leukocyte phenotype of 14 patients aged 46-67 years undergoing 4 courses of chemotherapy with either epirubucin/cyclophosphamide (n=7) or 5-fluorouracil/epirubucin/ cyclophosphamide (n=7) followed by 4 courses of taxol supported by peg-filgrastim (6 mg) administered 72 h after each chemotherapy course. The overall leukocyte number significantly increased from the first treatment course, while total lymphocytes tended to decrease with a negative peak following the 6th course (p=0.03). B (CD19 +, CD20 +) and early B lymphocyte subsets (CD20 +/CD38 +) significantly decreased during treatment (p+) cells. Immature T lymphocytes (CD4 +/CD8 + subset), dendritic cells (CD11c +) and NK cells (CD56 +) increased with respect to the baseline. Our results suggest that dose-dense chemotherapy programs with the support of pegfilgrastim did not significantly impair the immune system of breast cancer patients and allowed for a rapid restoration of most immune competent cells. These observations may have important clinical implications with a view to vaccination or other immunotherapeutic approaches to solid tumours.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-88
Number of pages4
JournalMolecular Medicine Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009



  • Breast cancer
  • Dose-dense chemotherapy
  • Leukocyte phenotype
  • Peg-filgrastim

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cancer Research
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology

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