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BBCIC Research Network Analysis of First-Cycle Prophylactic G-CSF Use in Patients Treated With High–Neutropenia Risk Chemotherapy

Pamala A. Pawloski, Cara L. McDermott, James H. Marshall, Vanita Pindolia, Catherine M. Lockhart, Catherine A. Panozzo, Jeffrey S. Brown, and Bernadette Eichelberger

Background: Chemotherapy-induced febrile neutropenia (FN) is prevented or minimized with granulocyte colony-stimulating factors (G-CSFs). Several G-CSF biosimilars are approved in the United States. The Biologics and Biosimilars Collective Intelligence Consortium (BBCIC) is a nonprofit initiative whose objective is to provide scientific evidence on real-world use and comparative safety and effectiveness of biologics and biosimilars using the BBCIC distributed research network (DRN). Patients and Methods: We describe real-world G-CSF use in patients with breast or lung cancer receiving first-cycle chemotherapy associated with high FN risk. We assessed hospitalizations for FN, availability of absolute neutrophil counts, and G-CSF–induced adverse events to inform future observational comparative effectiveness studies of G-CSF reference products and their biosimilars. A descriptive analysis of 5 participating national health insurance plans was conducted within the BBCIC DRN. Results: A total of 57,725 patients who received at least one G-CSF dose were included. Most (92.5%) patients received pegfilgrastim. FN hospitalization rates were evaluated by narrow (<0.5%), intermediate (1.91%), and broad (2.99%) definitions. Anaphylaxis and hyperleukocytosis were identified in 1.15% and 2.28% of patients, respectively. This analysis provides real-world evidence extracted from a large, readily available database of diverse patients, characterizing G-CSF reference product use to inform the feasibility of future observational comparative safety and effectiveness analyses of G-CSF biosimilars. We showed that the rates of FN and adverse events in our research network are consistent with those reported by previous small studies. Conclusions: Readily available BBCIC DRN data can be used to assess G-CSF use with the incidence of FN hospitalizations. Insufficient laboratory result data were available to report absolute neutrophil counts; however, other safety data are available for assessment that provide valuable baseline data regarding the effectiveness and safety of G-CSFs in preparation for comparative effectiveness studies of reference G-CSFs and their biosimilars.