Use of G-CSF biosimilars for reduction of fever

Biosimilars/Research | Posted 14/06/2013 post-comment0 Post your comment

The American Society of Hematology, the British Society of Haematology, the European Society of Hematology and the European Group of Bone Marrow Transplantation all recommend the use of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) after transplant in order to reduce the time to neutrophil recovery and the number of days with fever.

Autologous Stem Cells V13F14

EMA approved the first biosimilar G-CSF in 2008, and there are currently six biosimilar G-CSF licensed for use in the EU [1].

G-CSF can be used, following autologous stem cell transplantation, to reduce the time to neutrophil recovery and the number of days with fever. In a recent paper, the evidence for the safety and efficacy of G-CSF biosimilars used for this indication is reviewed [2].

In a study of patients recovering from treatment for lymphoma, myeloma or solid tumours, no difference was found between use of brand-name or biosimilar G-CSF to aid neutrophil recovery and reduce the number of days with fever. The clinical parameters evaluated were the number of G-CSF injections, the number of days of hospitalization, the number of units of red blood cell or platelet transfusions, the days on which body temperature exceeded 38°C, the days of parenteral nutrition, the weight loss and the hospitalization costs.

With respect to cost, significant differences (p < 0.00001) were observed, confirming that biosimilars are cheaper than brand-name G-CSF. The author did point out, however, that as part of the total hospitalization this did not make a difference. This was due to the fact that the cost of G-CSF only made up 1% of the total costs of the procedure.

Conflict of interest
The author of the research paper did not declare any conflict of interest.

Editor’s comment
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1.  GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Biosimilars approved in Europe []. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2013 Jun 14]. Available from:

2.  Bosi A. Use of biosimilars in hematopoietic stem cells transplantation. Drugs and Cell Therapies in Hematology. 2013;2(1):21-6.

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