Hematopoietic growth factors after HLA-identical allogeneic bone marrow transplantation in patients treated with methotrexate-containing graft-vs.-host disease prophylaxis

S. Martin-Algarra, M. R. Bishop, S. Tarantolo, M. K. Cowles, E. Reed, J. R. Anderson, J. M. Vose, P. Bierman, J. O. Armitage, A. Kessinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The use of hematopoietic growth factors (HGFs) in the allogeneic transplant setting has sometimes been avoided for fear of stimulating leukemic cell growth and intensifying graft-vs.-host disease (GVHD). However, neither an increase in relapse rate nor an aggravation of GVHD has been routinely described when HGFs are used after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (allo-BMT). Early outcomes after HLA-matched allo-BMT in 26 patients with hematologic malignancies treated with recombinant human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (rhG-CSF) or recombinant human granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (rhGM-CSF) from the day of transplantation were analyzed. Results were compared to those from a series of 38 patients treated earlier with an identical approach, but not scheduled to receive HGFs after transplantation. All patients received a preparative regimen consisting of etoposide, cyclophosphamide, and total-body irradiation and GVHD prophylaxis with cyclosporine and a short course of methotrexate (MTX). The analysis has shown that the duration of neutropenia was significantly decreased in the group of patients treated routinely with HGFs (median 17 vs. 20 days; p < 0.001). These patients also required fewer days of intravenous antibiotic therapy (median 20 vs. 34 days; p < 0.001), had fewer positive blood and tissue cultures (median 2 vs. 12 and 13 vs. 28; p = 0.02 and p = 0.05, respectively), needed fewer packed red blood cell transfusions (median 7 vs. 11; p < 0.03), and were discharged earlier from the hospital (median 33.5 vs. 39 days; p < 0.001). The use of HGFs was not associated with an increase in acute GVHD or early leukemic relapse. No side effects were attributable to the simultaneous administration of MTX and HGF during the neutropenic period. A trend toward better 100-day actuarial survival for patients treated with rhG-CSF or rhGM-CSF did not reach statistical significance. A decrease in the number of early deaths from fungal or bacterial infections was found in the cytokine-treated group (p = 0.05). These data suggest that the early use of rhG-CSF or rhGM-CSF after HLA-matched allo-BMT in hematologic malignancies accelerates engraftment, reduces hospitalization time, and improves outcome, without increasing acute GVHD or early relapse. Because MTX-based prophylaxis regimens are associated with prolonged neutropenia, the routine use of HGFs after transplantation may be particularly useful in regimens including MTX.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1503-1508
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental Hematology
Issue number14
StatePublished - 1995


  • Allogeneic BMT
  • Hematopoietic growth factors
  • Methotrexate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Hematology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Hematopoietic growth factors after HLA-identical allogeneic bone marrow transplantation in patients treated with methotrexate-containing graft-vs.-host disease prophylaxis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this