Hematopoietic growth factors in lung cancer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose of review Most patients affected by lung cancer are treated with chemotherapy, and hence are at risk of myelosuppression. Hematopoietic growth factors have a relevant role in this setting, as they can improve quality of life, reduce the rate of chemotherapy-induced complications and allow the administration of full-dose chemotherapy. Recent findings Most data of hematologic growth factors in lung cancer come from dated publications or large trials involving different malignancies, thus limiting specific information for lung neoplasms. Nonetheless, most studies consistently identified myeloid growth factors as effective on specific end-points such as the duration and severity of neutropenia, or complications such as hospitalizations and febrile neutropenia; on the other hand, erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) consistently improved anemia-specific end-points including hemoglobin values, transfusions rate and fatigue, although some specific safety issues characterized this drug class. The most recent international guidelines address these characteristics and include the main indications for hematologic growth factors in solid neoplasms, including lung cancer. Summary Myeloid growth factors and ESAs have a relevant role in selected patients undergoing chemotherapy for nonsmall cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. Notably, a comprehensive risk-benefit assessment is required in the specific case of ESAs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-144
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Opinion in Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2016


  • chemotherapy-induced anemia
  • erythropoiesis-stimulating agents
  • febrile neutropenia
  • lung cancer
  • myeloid growth factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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