Use of prophylactic growth factors and antimicrobials in elderly patients with cancer: a review of the Medicare database

Romina Sosa, Shuling Li, Julia T. Molony, Jiannong Liu, Scott Stryker, Allan J. Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Growth factors and antimicrobials can reduce complications of chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression. Their prophylactic use in elderly patients is important given the associated comorbidity in this age group. There is a developing trend by payers to include supportive care agents in chemotherapy care bundles, which could affect clinical practice. We examined whether the febrile neutropenia (FN) risk categories can be used to describe utilization in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid fee-for-service system in older adults. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study using the Medicare 20% sample data to describe growth factor and antimicrobial use patterns in patients receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer, lung cancer, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Results: The highest percentage of patients receiving granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (GCSF) within the first 5 days of a chemotherapy cycle were on high-FN-risk regimens, particularly for cycle 1 (73.7%, breast cancer; 61.5%, NHL) and cycle 2 (75.9%, breast cancer; 77.5%, NHL). Chemotherapy regimens for lung cancer are less myelotoxic, and growth factor use was more likely with latter cycles. Antibiotic use was lower at 15% within a cycle and appeared to be in response to complications. Conclusion: Practitioners use GCSF and antibiotics for elderly patients treated with potentially toxic chemotherapy, while comorbidity burden plays a role for patients treated with less myelotoxic regimens. The complexity of these choices in clinical practice should be considered in the proposed reimbursement changes being piloted by Medicare and private insurance companies seeking treatment cost reductions, as altered use could affect safety and efficacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3123-3132
Number of pages10
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Volume25
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Conflict of interest Dr. Sosa reports no conflicts of interest. Drs. Li and Liu and Ms. Molony are employed by the Chronic Disease Research Group, which received research funding from Amgen. Dr. Stryker is employed by Amgen. Dr. Collins has provided consultation to Amgen, Relypsa, DaVita Clinical Research, NxStage, Keryx, and ZS Pharma.

Funding Information:
The authors thank Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation colleague Nan Booth, MSW, MPH, ELS, for the manuscript editing. Dr. Sosa reports no conflicts of interest. Drs. Li and Liu and Ms. Molony are employed by the Chronic Disease Research Group, which received research funding from Amgen. Dr. Stryker is employed by Amgen. Dr. Collins has provided consultation to Amgen, Relypsa, DaVita Clinical Research, NxStage, Keryx, and ZS Pharma. This study was supported by a research contract from Amgen Inc., Thousand Oaks, California. The contract provides for the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation authors to have final determination of manuscript content. The authors had full control of all primary data and agree to allow the journal to review the data if asked. Dr. Sosa receives salary support from the?American Heart Association Fellow to Faculty Award FTF?17400011.

Funding Information:
Funding This study was supported by a research contract from Amgen Inc., Thousand Oaks, California. The contract provides for the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation authors to have final determination of manuscript content. The authors had full control of all primary data and agree to allow the journal to review the data if asked. Dr. Sosa receives salary support from the American Heart Association Fellow to Faculty Award FTF 17400011.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Keywords

  • Antimicrobials
  • Chemotherapy
  • Febrile neutropenia
  • Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor

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