Association of Neutropenia Onset and Severity with Chemotherapy Regimens and Schedules


Introduction: Neutropenia, defined as a decrease in the absolute neutrophil count lower than the normal that is < 1500 cell/ μl, has a detrimental effect on cancer patients’ quality of life, also possibly resulting in a reduction in the chemotherapy dose which could lead to an increment in the size of a cancer. There are so many causative factors for neutropenia like hematological disorders, autoimmune diseases and infection, drugs reactions and chemotherapy or radiotherapy. So the main aim of this study is to find the association between chemotherapy drug or regimens, schedule of administration used for treatment of solid cancer diseases with neutropenia onset and severity.
Methods: This is an observational retrospective study carried out in a general hospital on 117 solid tumor patients who admitted between January 2003 to December 2006. The main statistical tests used were Chisquaretest and Fisher’s Exact test. The significance of the result will be when the P < 0.05, while the confidence interval for this study was 95%.
Results: The highest chemotherapeutic regimen was (5-FU + epirubicin + cyclophosphamide) (47, 40.2%) followed by (gemcitabine + cisplatin) (6, 5.1%) and many others. Majority of the patients receive their chemotherapy schedule of administration was one day schedule (90, 76.9%) followed by more than one day schedule (27, 23.1%).
Conclusion: The doses of these drugs were not high enough to produce a sufficient pharmacological effect to cause bone marrow suppression and lead to neutropenia. Besides the schedule of administration for each drug was long enough to overcome neutropenia also the high uses of granulocyte colony stimulation factor (G-CSF) which will play a major role in reducing the time and severity of neutropenia. All these factors play an important role in giving non- significant association between neutropenia onset and severity with chemotherapeutics drugs and their schedule of administration.