Posted on February 5th, 2009 by
The frequent development of chemotherapy-induced neutropenia and accompanying complications has historically prevented chemotherapy from being administered more often than the standard three-week interval. Neutropenia is a condition characterized by abnormally low levels of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell) in the circulating blood. Because neutrophils help prevent and fight infection, a patient experiencing neutropenia is at increase risk of infection; chemotherapy schedules are thus interrupted unit neutrophil levels are restored.
Recent therapeutic advances in the treatment of neutropenia have allowed dose-dense chemotherapy to emerge as a more viable treatment option. Two drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced neutropenia are Neupogen® (filgrastim) and Neulasta® (pegfilgrastim).
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