Granulocyte Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor in 66 Patients with Myeloid or Lymphoid Neoplasms and Recipients of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation with Invasive Fungal Disease

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Adding granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) may improve the response to antifungal therapy in immunosuppressed patients with invasive fungal disease (IFD).


We retrospectively assessed 66 patients in whom GM-CSF was given during antifungal therapy.


Severe neutropenia (77%) and refractory/relapsed cancer (65%) were common in the group. Prior to GM-CSF therapy, 15% of patients received high-dose corticosteroids for a median of 30 ± 16 days [median cumulative dose (c.d.) 1,184 ± 1,019 mg], and 9 received steroids during GM-CSF therapy for a median of 16 ± 12 days (median c.d. 230 ± 1,314 mg). Mild toxic effects were noted in 9% of patients; there were no cases of cardiopulmonary toxicity. All-cause deaths were observed in 68% of patients and 48% died of progressive IFD. High-dose corticosteroids prior to GM-CSF (OR 24; 95% CI 2.21–264.9; p ≤ 0.009), GM-CSF started in the intensive care unit (OR 10; 95% CI 1.66–63.8; p ≤ 0.01), concurrent granulocyte transfusions (OR 5; 95% CI 1.27–16.8; p ≤ 0.02) and proven/probable IFD (OR 4; 95% CI 1–16.2; p ≤ 0.05) predicted antifungal treatment failure.


GM-CSF adjuvant therapy was tolerated without serous toxicity and antifungal treatment failure remained a challenge in patients treated with high-dose systemic corticosteroids.

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