Considerations for Use of Hematopoietic Growth Factors in Patients With Cancer Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic

J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2020 Sep 1;1-4. doi: 10.6004/jnccn.2020.7610. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Hematopoietic growth factors, including erythrocyte stimulating agents (ESAs), granulocyte colony-stimulating factors, and thrombopoietin mimetics, can mitigate anemia, neutropenia, and thrombocytopenia resulting from chemotherapy for the treatment of cancer. In the context of pandemic SARS-CoV-2 infection, patients with cancer have been identified as a group at high risk of morbidity and mortality from this infection. Our subcommittee of the NCCN Hematopoietic Growth Factors Panel convened a voluntary group to review the potential value of expanded use of such growth factors in the current high-risk environment. Although recommendations are available on the NCCN website in the COVID-19 Resources Section (https://www.nccn.org/covid-19/), these suggestions are provided without substantial context or reference. Herein we review the rationale and data underlying the suggested alterations to the use of hematopoietic growth factors for patients with cancer in the COVID-19 era.