The rapid spread of severe infections mainly due to resistant pathogens, justifies the search for therapies aiming to restore immune functions severely compromised in patients with hematologic malignancies. Areas covered: The present review summarizes the current knowledge on the role of granulocyte transfusions and colony-stimulating factors as treatment strategy for hematologic patients with serious infectious complications. In addition, a survey among 21 hematologic centers, to evaluate the clinical practice for the use of G-CSF originator and biosimilars was performed. Expert commentary: Granulocyte transfusions with a target dose of at least 1.5-3 × 108 cells/kg, may be considered as an approach to bridge the gap between marrow suppression and recovery of granulocytes. G-CSF shortens the period of neutropenia, the hospitalization, the use of antibiotics and the rate of febrile neutropenia (FN) in adult and pediatric patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and in adults with acute myeloid leukemia where these advantages nevertheless, did not translate into a clinical benefit. G-CSF biosimilar showed equivalence or non-inferiority to filgrastim. There are no data supporting the use of GM-CSF, eltrombopag and erythropoietin for preventing or treating infectious complications in patients with hematologic disorders.
Keywords: Hematologic malignancies; colony-stimulating factors; granulocyte transfusions; infectious complications; invasive fungal infections.