Summary and Comparison of Myeloid Growth Factor Guidelines in Patients Receiving Cancer Chemotherapy

Three different practice guidelines for the myeloid growth factors were recently published by major professional organizations. A comprehensive review and comparison of the guidelines using a priori structured content criteria and a previously validated quality appraisal tool are reported. The final recommendations from these guidelines are consistent for primary prophylaxis with the colony-stimulating factors (CSFs) when the risk of febrile neutropenia is in the range of 20% or greater. All 3 guidelines also recommend prophylactic use of myeloid growth factors in patients with important factors increasing individual risk of neutropenic complications. The recommendation that patients receiving regimens associated with lower risk should have CSF use guided by individual risk assessment is also consistent. Critical quality appraisal indicates that the scope, purpose, stakeholder involvement, and applicability of these guidelines differ little. The American Society of Clinical Oncology and European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer guidelines place more emphasis on comprehensive literature reviews, and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines are more current based on systematic annual updates. Presentation clarity also favors National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines, with recommendations generally presented as both text and algorithmic diagram.

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Correspondence: Gary H. Lyman, MD, MPH, FRCP(Edin), Professor of Medicine and Oncology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, 601 Elmwood Ave, Box 704, Rochester, NY 14642. E-mail: Gary_Lyman@urmc.rochester.edu

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