Impact of Granulocyte-colony Stimulating Factor on Bleomycin-induced Pneumonitis in Chemotherapy-treated Germ Cell Tumors

Published:September 04, 2017DOI:



      To examine the impact of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) use on the incidence and severity of bleomycin-induced pneumonitis (BIP) in patients with germ cell tumor (GCT) receiving first-line chemotherapy.

      Patients and Methods

      Clinical data from our institutional GCT database was complemented by review of radiology, pharmacy, and medical records. All patients receiving first line chemotherapy between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2010 were included. Patients receiving at least 1 dose of G-CSF were identified. BIP was graded using Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events criteria. Logistic regression was used to explore predictors for risk and severity of BIP. Statistical significance was defined as P < .05.


      Data on 212 patients with GCT treated with a bleomycin-containing chemotherapy regimen were available. The median age was 31 years. The median follow-up period was 36.7 months. BIP occurred in 73 patients (34%), a majority (n = 55) of which were asymptomatic events (Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events, grade 1). G-CSF use was not associated with increased risk of BIP in multivariable analyses (odds ratio, 1.60; P = .13), nor was it associated with increased severity of symptomatic BIP (on average 1.22 grades higher; P = .09). There was a non-statistically significant trend towards greater risk of BIP in patients that developed renal impairment during chemotherapy treatment (odds ratio, 2.56; P = .053).


      In patients with GCT receiving first line chemotherapy, G-CSF use is not associated with an increased risk of BIP. Furthermore, the use of G-CSF did not have any significant effect on the severity of BIP events. Clinicians are reminded to be vigilant of patients that develop renal impairment while undergoing chemotherapy treatment, given the greater risk of BIP.


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