Management of chemotherapy-induced neutropenia: measuring quality, cost, and value.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network : JNCCN, Volume 13, Issue 1, p.e1-7 (2015)


Treatment-associated neutropenia continues to represent the most common dose-limiting toxicity of cancer chemotherapy. It often leads to fever and infection, prompting hospitalization and occasionally resulting in serious morbidity, and even mortality, despite modern broad-spectrum antibiotic treatment and supportive care. Neutropenia and its complications may also lead to chemotherapy dose reductions, treatment delays, or early treatment termination, compromising disease control and the potential for cure. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology recommend administration of primary prophylaxis with a myeloid growth factor in patients receiving regimens associated with a high risk for febrile neutropenia, and consideration of prophylaxis in patients receiving lower-risk regimens who have other risk factors that might place them at higher risk for febrile neutropenia. Although these agents have been shown to be effective and safe in numerous randomized controlled trials, they are expensive and contribute significantly to increasing health care costs. Regulatory agencies and guideline organizations do not currently address the issue of cost. However, with the relentless increase in health care use and current efforts to reform health care, it has become increasingly important to assess both the cost and the net benefit of interventions related to an episode of care in order to compare the overall value of therapeutic options. This article defines and discusses the intersection of quality, costs, and value in the context of prophylactic myeloid growth factor use in patients with cancer receiving myelosuppressive chemotherapy.