SEIFEM 2017: from real life to an agreement on the use of granulocyte transfusions and colony-stimulating factors for prophylaxis and treatment of infectious complications in patients with hematologic malignant disorders

On behalf of the SEIFEM group (Sorveglianza Epidemiologica Infezioni Fungine in Ematologia)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Introduction: The rapid spread of severe infections mainly due to resistant pathogens, justifies the search for therapies aiming to restore immune functions severely compromised in patients with hematologic malignancies. Areas covered: The present review summarizes the current knowledge on the role of granulocyte transfusions and colony-stimulating factors as treatment strategy for hematologic patients with serious infectious complications. In addition, a survey among 21 hematologic centers, to evaluate the clinical practice for the use of G-CSF originator and biosimilars was performed. Expert commentary: Granulocyte transfusions with a target dose of at least 1.5-3 × 108 cells/kg, may be considered as an approach to bridge the gap between marrow suppression and recovery of granulocytes. G-CSF shortens the period of neutropenia, the hospitalization, the use of antibiotics and the rate of febrile neutropenia (FN) in adult and pediatric patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and in adults with acute myeloid leukemia where these advantages nevertheless, did not translate into a clinical benefit. G-CSF biosimilar showed equivalence or non-inferiority to filgrastim. There are no data supporting the use of GM-CSF, eltrombopag and erythropoietin for preventing or treating infectious complications in patients with hematologic disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-168
Number of pages14
JournalExpert Review of Hematology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2018



  • colony-stimulating factors
  • granulocyte transfusions
  • Hematologic malignancies
  • infectious complications
  • invasive fungal infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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