Cost analyses of adjunct colony stimulating factors for acute leukemia: Can they improve clinical decision making

Charles L. Bennett*, Tammy J. Stinson, Joseph H. Laver, Michael R. Bishop, John E. Godwin, Martin S. Tallman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Colony stimulating factors reduce the duration of neutropenia following intensive chemotherapy in a variety of settings, but the advantages in the management of leukemia are inconclusive. The variations in clinical results and the high costs of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) have led to confusion over appropriate use for leukemia patients. In this paper, we reviewed published information on costs and cost-effectiveness of growth factors for childhood and adult leukemia patients. Medline and Healthstar databases were searched for original research articles that contain cost or cost-effectiveness analyses of G-CSF (filgrastim) and GM-SCF (sargramostim) in oncology cooperative group trials. Published manuscripts and abstracts presented at national or international oncology conferences were included. The cost of adjunct treatment was evaluated in two studies of pediatric ALL, one study of adult AML, and two studies of AML in older adults (> 55 years). The use of G-CSF for children with ALL was associated with reductions in days to ANC recovery, fewer documented infections, a shorter duration of hospitalization, and small (but not significant) additional costs. In adult AML patients, benefits included a shortening of the duration of neutropenia and hospital stays, a lower incidence of infection and febrile episodes, less use of antibiotics, and cost savings of $2230 and $2310 in two studies and an increase if $120 in the third study. This summary suggests that economic analyses can provide useful information to assist clinical decision-making. For pediatric ALL patients, this information indicates that G-CSF use is unlikely to have significant cost implications, and its use should be based on clinical considerations. In studies of adult and older adult AML patients, both GM-CSF and G-CSF have clinical benefits and can be expected to lead to a decrease in overall costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-70
Number of pages6
JournalLeukemia and Lymphoma
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2000


  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Economics
  • Hematopoietic colony-stimulating factors
  • Leukemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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