Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) is one of the ten most common cancers in the developed world. The incidence has increased significantly over the past two decades and it is a particular burden in patients over the age of 60 years. The gold standard for primary treatment of aggressive NHL is combination chemotherapy with cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisone (CHOP). Haematological growth factors, such as granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), can be used to ameliorate chemotherapy-induced neutropenia, thus facilitating delivery of chemotherapy at the planned dose intensity. The International Prognostic Index is able to identify high-risk patients who are unlikely to be cured with standard primary chemotherapy. In these patients, the use of dose-intensive therapy, including high-dose chemotherapy with stem cell support, is being evaluated as potential primary therapy. Stem cell transplantation is currently the treatment of choice for patients with relapsed NHL or those with chemosensitive refractory disease. Autologous peripheral blood stem cells mobilised into the circulation by G-CSF help achieve rapid haematological reconstitution and are now the preferred source of stem cells over bone marrow for this form of therapy. G-CSF is also used to support allogeneic transplantation, which exerts a therapeutic graft-versus-lymphoma effect. Administration of G-CSF following autologous or allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplantation accelerates neutrophil recovery.