New data announced at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Quality Care Symposium have found that filgrastim (Zarxio, Sandoz) is not only a safe and effective treatment, but is also cost-effective as the primary prophylaxis for chemotherapy-induced febrile neutropenia (FN) in patients with early-stage breast cancer.

Filgrastim is a man-made form of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), which stimulates the growth of neutrophils in the body. The most common adverse effect (AE) is aching in the bones and muscles, although more serious AEs can include spleen rupture, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and serious allergic reactions.

The study found that using filgrastim after the first round of docetaxel chemotherapy rather than waiting until the patient develops FN is cost-effective based on a willingness to pay threshold of $50,000 per quality adjusted life year. In a press release, researchers noted that patients at intermediate risk for FN have historically been monitored for development of the condition before receiving G-CSF.

The findings align with recent recommendations for FN prevention from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), which have been expanded in response to the potential higher risk for patients with cancer to contract coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The new recommendations urge administration of G-CSF as a primary prophylaxis treatment for FN among both intermediate- and high-risk patients after their first cycle of chemotherapy. Previous guidelines only recommended routine primary prophylaxis for high-risk and select intermediate-risk patients.

“These data add to the growing body of evidence on the cost-effectiveness of Zarxio as primary prophylaxis in cancer patients, including similar findings in patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and lung cancer, and support the recent NCCN recommendations during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said study author Edward Li, PharmD, in a statement.

REFERENCE
Sandoz Zarxio demonstrates cost-effectiveness for breast cancer patients at intermediate risk when used as primary prophylaxis to decrease the incidence of febrile neutropenia following first-round of chemotherapy [news release]. Sandoz; October 6, 2020.
https://www.us.sandoz.com/news/media-releases/sandoz-zarxio-demonstrates-cost-effectiveness-breast-cancer-patients. Accessed October 7, 2020.