Anemia is prevalent in 30% to 90% of patients with cancer. Anemia can be corrected through either treating the underlying cause or providing supportive care through transfusion with packed red blood cells or administration of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs), with or without iron supplementation. Recent studies showing detrimental health effects of ESAs sparked a series of FDA label revisions and a sea change in the perception of these once commonly used agents. In light of this, the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Cancer- and Chemotherapy-Induced Anemia underwent substantial revisions this year. The purpose of these NCCN Guidelines is twofold: 1) to operationalize the evaluation and treatment of anemia in adult cancer patients, with an emphasis on those who are receiving concomitant chemotherapy, and 2) to enable patients and clinicians to individualize anemia treatment options based on patient condition.
George M. Rodgers III, Pamela Sue Becker, Morey Blinder, David Cella, Asher Chanan-Khan, Charles Cleeland, Peter F. Coccia, Benjamin Djulbegovic, Jeffrey A. Gilreath, Eric H. Kraut, Ursula A. Matulonis, Michael M. Millenson, Denise Reinke, Joseph Rosenthal, Rowena N. Schwartz, Gerald Soff, Richard S. Stein, Gordana Vlahovic, and Alva B. Weir III
Elizabeth A. Griffiths, Laura M. Alwan, Kimo Bachiashvili, Anna Brown, Rita Cool, Peter Curtin, Mark B. Geyer, Ivana Gojo, Avyakta Kallam, Wajih Z. Kidwai, Dwight D. Kloth, Eric H. Kraut, Gary H. Lyman, Sudipto Mukherjee, Lia E. Perez, Rachel P. Rosovsky, Vivek Roy, Hope S. Rugo, Sumithira Vasu, Martha Wadleigh, Peter Westervelt, and Pamela S. Becker
Hematopoietic growth factors, including erythrocyte stimulating agents (ESAs), granulocyte colony-stimulating factors, and thrombopoietin mimetics, can mitigate anemia, neutropenia, and thrombocytopenia resulting from chemotherapy for the treatment of cancer. In the context of pandemic SARS-CoV-2 infection, patients with cancer have been identified as a group at high risk of morbidity and mortality from this infection. Our subcommittee of the NCCN Hematopoietic Growth Factors Panel convened a voluntary group to review the potential value of expanded use of such growth factors in the current high-risk environment. Although recommendations are available on the NCCN website in the COVID-19 Resources Section (https://www.nccn.org/covid-19/), these suggestions are provided without substantial context or reference. Herein we review the rationale and data underlying the suggested alterations to the use of hematopoietic growth factors for patients with cancer in the COVID-19 era.
Featured Updates to the NCCN Guidelines
Pamela Sue Becker, Elizabeth A. Griffiths, Laura M. Alwan, Kimo Bachiashvili, Anna Brown, Rita Cool, Peter Curtin, Shira Dinner, Ivana Gojo, Ashley Hicks, Avyakta Kallam, Wajih Zaheer Kidwai, Dwight D. Kloth, Eric H. Kraut, Daniel Landsburg, Gary H. Lyman, Ryan Miller, Sudipto Mukherjee, Shiven Patel, Lia E. Perez, Adam Poust, Raajit Rampal, Rachel Rosovsky, Vivek Roy, Hope S. Rugo, Sepideh Shayani, Sumithira Vasu, Martha Wadleigh, Kelly Westbrook, Peter Westervelt, Jennifer Burns, Jennifer Keller, and Lenora A. Pluchino
Management of febrile neutropenia (FN) is an integral part of supportive care for patients undergoing cancer treatment. The NCCN Guidelines for Hematopoietic Growth Factors provide suggestions for appropriate evaluation, risk determination, prophylaxis, and management of FN. These NCCN Guidelines are intended to guide clinicians in the appropriate use of growth factors for select patients undergoing treatment of nonmyeloid malignancies. These NCCN Guidelines Insights highlight important updates to the NCCN Guidelines regarding the incorporation of newly FDA-approved granulocyte-colony stimulating factor biosimilars for the prevention and treatment of FN.