Neutropenia-related fungal infections can be life-threatening despite antifungal therapy. We evaluated the role of recombinant granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (rG-CSF)-elicited white blood cell (WBC) transfusions in patients with neutropenia-related fungal infections. Adult patients with hematologic malignancies, absolute neutrophil counts (ANC) <500/microl and fungal infections refractory to amphotericin B, received daily transfusions of rG-CSF-elicited and irradiated WBC transfusions from related donors. Donors received 5 microg/kg/day of rG-CSF subcutaneously. Donors achieved a mean ANC of 29.4 x 10(3) per microliter. The mean yield of neutrophils per transfusion was 41 x 10(9) (range, 10-116). Fifteen patients received a median of eight transfusions (range, 3-16). Fourteen patients had received rG-CSF for a median of 12 days. The median ANC baseline was 20/microl. Eleven patients had favorable responses and eight of them remained free of infection 3 weeks after therapy. Favorable responses occurred among patients with better Zubrod performance status (median, 3 vs 4) and shorter duration of both profound neutropenia (median, 15 vs 25 days) and active infection (median, 8 vs 17 days). The mean 1- and 24-h post-transfusion ANCs were 594/microl (range, 98-1472/microl) and 396/microl (range, 50-1475/microl), respectively. Adverse reactions were observed in nine of 35 donors and in the recipients of six of 130 transfusions. rG-CSF-elicited WBC transfusions may be a safe and promising approach for treating neutropenia-related fungal infections.